Re: Looking to Rent, Rent to buy ...
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 07:24:35 -0700 (PDT)
melanie griffin <melgrif [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]> after
deleting much of long quote which caused it to be held for my review.
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

This might be a good topic for an academic or even community nonprofit to
take on. An academic might examine the barriers to gaining the benefits of
cohousing where money is not available to build custom homes and ways to
identify and encourage adoption of zoning and planning policies that
enhance community. A nonprofit might be able to get a grant to forge and
manage a partnership between a functioning middle class cohousing community
partner and an existing stable but maybe poorer neighborhood to share some
of the concepts and benefits of cohousing by, say, helping to organize
common meals (block parties but more frequent) or community shared lawn
equipment (my non-cohousing 'hood does this informally but I'm sure we
could do more) or zipcars or gardens or bikes or chickens or even introduce
dispute resolution techniques that are based in sociocracy.
Melanie (another hopeful future cohouser stuck in a stagnant real estate

On Aug 7, 2013 11:52 AM, "Ann Zabaldo" <zabaldo [at]> wrote:

> Hi all --
> Let me add to Sharon's excellent post the notion of retro-fit cohousing:
>  buying up houses on one or more blocks and then "tearing down the fences."
>  Look for high turnover neighborhoods in the cost category you can afford.
>  If you live in or near a major industrial town such as Baltimore or
> Detroit ... you could basically have your pick of housing stock.
> However ... as Sharon pointed out ... it's not so easy.  Yes.  You can get
> good housing stock in rust belt industrial towns at low prices -- and the
> town would be grateful to have you --  BUT you have to consider where you
> would work.  And schools play such a major role in a family's decision to
> put down roots.  Will the school system be acceptable for you?  If you home
> school or send your children to private school or you don't have children
> this could be a perfect solution.
> Let me also add:  you can do cohousing ANYWHERE.  Right where you are
> right now.  If we put 25% of the effort we put into building cohousing into
> our current living situation I believe we would see a major change in
> neighborhoods, community, people, civic institutions, etc. etc. etc.   If
> you don't know your neighbors ... why not try to meet them?  Here's a
> website that can help:  (There are
> several of these.  Just google "meet your neighbors"

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