Re: Renters and Owners and other
From: Holly McNutt (
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 16:33:12 -0800 (PST)
Another two cents from my perspective as Cohouser, property 
I'd say about 90% f the time, there is more wear and tear on a tenant-occupied 
property. With few and notable exceptions, owners take better care. Pride of 
ownership is a very real phenomenon.  And while there ARE meticulous tenants 
and slovenly owners, more often the reverse is true.  Just something to be 
considered in the final equation, whatever that may end up looking like.  

We've not had a big problem with non-occupying owners blocking things from 
moving forward, but it certainly could happen at any time.  

Re: affordable cohousing, I love the idea, but wonder about the logistics.  In 
one existing community I know of with a few permanently affordable units, the 
rising HOA dues have made things challenging for the owners of those units.  
Issues can develop if the other owners feel it is unfair for the affordable 
units to have no or lower dues increases, and increases can make it no longer 
affordable for the perm afford folks.  Anyone have any insight on this?

For those experiencing bullying and community relationship issues and such, YES 
get some outside facilitation and please seriously consider what the Third 
Siders have to offer. Jeff Jones is here at Nyland and this group is up to good 
things.  There are things that neighbors just cannot work out without a 
framework that provides emotional safety, and a neutral party skilled in 
mediation is of immense value.

- Holly at Nyland

On Feb 7, 2011, at 5:06 PM, Wayne Tyson wrote:

> RD and CoHo:
> Yes, but . . .
> If Dunbar's 150 Rule rules, somewhere around 20 to 40 (maybe as many as 
> 60--at a family size of 2.5--households) is probably about right, so your 
> point is not only well-taken, it just might be a crucial (tipping?) point in 
> more ways than one. While I'm a big fan of shots from the hip, WAG's, 
> SWAG's, and intuition, I don't exactly throw out the intellectual baby with 
> the bathwater either. The principle, however, is sound: "You can't 
> recognize, know and care about all your neighbors if you live in a 600-unit 
> complex.
> With respect to hierarchy and centralized institutional authority, however, 
> it is not mere suspicion, but a reaction to clear evidence, that correctly 
> brands such concepts to the history of culture, as I am examining in an 
> essay I'm working on entitled "Culture Against Society." Co-housing is an 
> objective component of an intuitive reaction to the enslavement of social 
> impulses by cultural frameworks.
> But co-housing in its most refined form could go far beyond mere condos for 
> "hippies," and actually question invasive bullies at any level, isolating 
> them, for example, as in more basic, not-so-primitive-after-all, truly 
> social groups where leadership is shifting and consultative and based upon 
> ability and consent rather than linear election politics for arbitrary terms 
> of "office."
> But then expediency and sustainability have never mixed very well/not at 
> all.
> WT
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "R Philip Dowds" <rpdowds [at]>
> To: "CoHoL" <Cohousing-L [at]>
> Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2011 2:58 AM
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ The Future of Cohousing
> A deep suspicion of hierarchy, of centralized institutional authority, has
> been a strong theme in American culture, all the way from the
> Democratic-Republican Party of Jefferson (this, in a context where political
> parties themselves were seen as the embodiment of dangerous ³factionalism²),
> right through the counter-cultural and protest movements of the O60¹s, and
> to the Tea Party of today.  So if you are worried about concentrations of
> power, you are a member of a very large and honorable club.  But keep in
> mind that the ³welfare state² of the O30¹s and the invasion of Iraq were
> both promoted, not by popular grass roots initiative, but by a strong
> federal government having a vision of what needed to be done.  Our federal
> government can help people, or it can murder them.  It¹s up to us, the
> voters.
> How this ties to cohousing is interesting.  ³Big² does not work for the
> cohousing model.  You can¹t recognize, know and care about all your
> neighbors if you live in a 600-unit complex.  So we all share, more or less,
> an agreement that cohousing communities of 20 to 40 households are in the
> range of right-sized < especially for consensus-based participatory
> democracy.  Yes?
> Philip Dowds
> Cornerstone Cohousing
> Cambridge, MA
> On 2/6/11 12:34 AM, "Wayne Tyson" <landrest [at]> wrote:
>> The very labels "Executive Director" and "CEO" scare the hell out of me.
>> That's because of past experiences with the concentration of power that I
>> believe is fundamentally corrosive of social transformation.
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