Aging Populations & Kids [was Number of Units [ was Co-farming in the Cities]
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 17 May 2012 08:40:57 -0700 (PDT)
On 12 May 2012, at 7:15 PM, R Philip Dowds wrote:

> Good for you:  It sounds like you may be dodging the age-creep syndrome that 
> plagues many intentional communities, not just cohousing. If true ... How are 
> you doing that?

It isn't intentional and some do worry about the number of single women 55+, 
but since this demographic is growing rapidly it is likely to continue in the 
one and two bedroom flats. The 2+ bedroom multi-floor units are the ones in 
which more people have move in than out.

20 of our 43 are 1-2 bedroom flats, and they sell very well. We currently have 
a leasing household of two adults and 2 children in a two bedroom duplex who 
are looking for a home in the neighborhood because we are unlikely (though it 
is totally unpredictable) to have a 3-bedroom available when their lease ends.

The solution, men living longer, is out of our control. The trend to single 
person households is also growing rapidly with fewer people choosing to marry 
or to live jointly. 

Our child population has increased from 7 when we moved in to 25 now. And that 
is with 4 moving out over the 12 years. 13 were born here with one death 
shortly after birth. 6 were adopted within ~3 years of move-in. (Another 4 were 
adopted before move-in.)

Rob Sandelin says what gets kids is a playground. We have a tot lot, a big 
green, and another piece of land in back where they can play. A little kids 
room inside for ages ~7 and under. We also have a room with a TV and Wii set up 
for video games to which the teens have first priority on use but I don't think 
it has attracted any teens, nor is it highly used. Teens tend to go do their 
own thing elsewhere. Mostly invisible.

The kids room is used a lot, including by grandchildren some of whom are here 
2-3 days a week. We have childcare there during meetings and a few parents hire 
a nanny for their children on weekend afternoons and they use it also.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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