Re: recruitment screening and rentals
From: R.N. Johnson (
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2013 10:40:59 -0700 (PDT)
When we were forming, we found that asking potential members to get involved 
separated the wheat from the chaff  pretty well. Now that we are in residence, 
we ask new people to come to a  meal,  a committee meeting, a business meeting 
and if possible, a work party or social event.  That gives us a good chance to 
get to know them and vice versa, and to see them in several different 
environments.  When they have been through the various events both sides have a 
pretty good idea of what they are getting into.  

I would add that it is a serious warning sign if someone  believes they are 
always right.  Now most of us are pretty sure we are on the side of the 
righteous most of the time, but some people always know best, and these folk, 
however pleasant, create havoc in a consensus system.   People who are always 
right cannot let the smallest detail go against their inner convictions, and 
will hold up everything from where to locate to the color of the mailbox to the 
name of the finance committee. They may have tremendous skills to offer the 
community, but if they can't listen to others, it just won't work. 

Renters can add a lot to a cohousing community. Many of the problems attributed 
to renters have much more to do with absentee landlords. If people within the 
community are renting out rooms or units, they will likely continue to take 
good care of the properties, and will have a stake in resolving any 
difficulties. We ask anyone renting to find tenants who are interested in 
participating.  We have two long term renters at New Brighton who have 
participated in the community for years, and aside from not coming to business 
meetings, are as much involved in the community as any of us (and more than 
some owners).  Allowing rentals will make it easier for people of different 
incomes, ages and stages in life to participate in your community.   Our most 
recent owner member came as a renter and loved it so much she decided to buy 

Randa Johnson
New Brighton Cohousing
Aptos, CA

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