Re: The Future of Cohousing
From: Ingram Paperny (
Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 07:56:27 -0700 (PDT)
Zev, Right on! I am sure that some of the real problems that co ho usa is
dealing with (or not) would have been better faced if you were in charge! I
have been working closely with Meda Ling and ouer local zoning board and
will bring you up to date . We remain committed to "steps outside our
traditional model...Ingram

-----Original Message-----
From: Zev Paiss [mailto:zpaiss [at]] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 7:55 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_ The Future of Cohousing


I think the situation with the upcoming conference and the hotel  
strike are distractions to a much graver situation. At this moment in  
history, despite the growing deep desire to create community across  
our nation, the reality of economic contraction, high unemployment,  
falling home prices, and a huge inventory of for sale homes, makes the  
prospect of building new cohousing neighborhoods at this time  
extremely challenging.

I suspect the hesitancy to attend the conference stems from the  
inability of many to fathom how they can spend $1,000 for  
registration, lodging and transportation when they know the equity in  
their homes (if you are still a homeowner) will not allow them to sell  
and purchase a new home in a not-yet-build cohousing community. When I  
can go buy a perfectly good home in Florida for $25,000 how am I going  
to convince others to pay 10 times that amount to purchase a new home?

As I have been saying for over 2 years now, please consider adaptive  
reuse or banding together to purchase a neighborhood of abandoned  
homes and start the long conversion process in our failing  
communities. Cohousing has much to offer but we must steps outside our  
traditional model of new construction and look at the possibilities of  
conversion, increasingly collaborative design (think foreclosed  
McMansions), and rental communities as one future for this movement.

Respectfully Submitted,

Zev Paiss, Founding Executive Director
The Cohousing Association 1997-2001

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