Re: Thoughts From a Longtime Cohousing Resident
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2013 18:47:48 -0700 (PDT)
On Mar 18, 2013, at 9:07 PM, Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at]> wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 8:02 PM, Mariana Almeida <missmgrrl [at]> 
> wrote:
>> PS -- now, how do you design a personality test to effectively weed out 
>> people who are low on these qualities?
> If (in someone's ideal world) everyone in cohousing had to be perfectly 
> suited from the git-go, where would the personal growth come from? I'm not 
> being snarky, am just musing.

And how can anyone know how people will change in cohousing. Some become more 
involved and others withdraw disillusioned.

I've also thought about this in terms of what cohousing intends to be an 
example of for the larger society. Does it intend to be an ideal for other 
neighborhoods to emulate? If so, it should be open to everyone. Accept them as 
equals and respond to their needs. And that requires doing what we struggle 
with, expect them to also meet the needs of the community. As in workshare and 
community support for others.

Then if cohousing is to accept anyone who is committed to the model  of 
cohousing, how many people can a community support who come because it 
advertises itself as supportive? Of necessity we have drawn the line on 
financial stability at a certain level-- the ability to buy a unit. But how 
many households with very young children or disturbed children can a community 
support. How many people with limited ability to tolerate the kind of conflict 
that diversity inevitably brings? How many people who need daily support at one 
point or another?

Advertising ourselves as open to all has it limitations in a society where it 
is not true elsewhere.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC 
Where all roads lead to Casablanca

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