Searching for a cohousing community that is satisfied with how its workshare is working. We want to learn from you.
From: Carol Singleton (
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 09:24:05 -0800 (PST)
The work share program at Oak Creek Commons (OCC) in Paso Robles, CA has
been operating successfully now for 2 years.  We have 36 households and 14
acres of land (our homes cover 4 acres and there are 10 acres of open space
- oak trees, meadows,  creek, paths, etc.)  Our program consists of Work
Dues which can be offset by Work Hours.  Here is how it works:


Work Hour requirements focus on need to get critical tasks done to maintain
our assets and to keep HOA dues as low as possible.  All OCC households
participate in the program by working required hours per month, or by paying
a monthly fee, or a combination of both.  Residents voluntarily do other
tasks they enjoy, want to have completed, or want to contribute to the
community.  Meals and meal clean up are not part of the Work Share program,
but maintaining the kitchen is part of critical tasks.


Each committee (Common House, Landscape, 10 Acre Woods, Facilities (covers
maintenance of common facilities including the pool/spa), Finance, Garden
and Orchard) identifies Critical Tasks and the number of hours which they
believe will take to complete these tasks.  


1.       Work Dues are $40 per month for households with one adult and $60
per household with two adults.  Work Dues are used to pay for Critical Tasks
that must be hired out because the Critical Tasks were not performed by
community members. 

2.       To receive a monthly credit equal to the monthly Work Dues,
households with one adult must complete ?Critical Tasks? worth 2 hours of
assigned ?Time Value? per month and households with 2 adults must complete
?Critical Tasks? worth 3 hours of assigned ?Time Value? per month on the
specific tasks assigned by Committees that the committees determine are
Critical Tasks.  Partial time worked is given credit at $5 for ¼ hour worked
(15 minutes/0.25 of an hour.)

3.       Committees will assign Time Values (in 15 minute increments) to
their Critical Tasks based on the critical nature of the task.  Time Values
should add up to the committee?s overall allotted annual hours.  

4.       Community members complete monthly signed statements certifying the
completed Critical Tasks in order to get work credit, in accordance with
Work Program Guidelines. 


Over the two years the program has existed we have found that we can be
pretty flexible and we have fine-tuned it to meet our needs.  We have enough
money from folks who pay the monthly fee rather than working to hire out
tasks that no one cares to do or which are hard for our folks to do.   Some
of our larger tasks ? such as thorough Common House cleaning -- are done as
work parties;  most of the smaller tasks are done by individuals whenever
they wish to complete the task during the month.  Individuals can pay others
to do work for them;  work hours can be accumulated so if there is a month
in which one cannot work, they still have hours to cover their time.
Individuals can also donate hours to those in need if for example someone is
sick and can?t work.  We have also made accommodations to households with
disabled adults.  




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