|Re: The Future of Cohousing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)|
|Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 13:19:43 -0800 (PST)|
On Jan 9, 2014, at 6:34 PM, Zev Paiss <Zev [at] abrahampaiss.com> wrote: > I would love to hear from the members of this list where you think cohousing > is headed in the next year or two. The challenges we have experienced since > 2007 have not changed all that much so if cohousing is going to grow we are > going to have to make it work in the new normal of constructed credit and > lower home values. I don't know what the trends are but I see opportunities: 1. Move into conventional condominiums and homeowner associations with the ideas and attitudes of cohousing and physical redesign of existing buildings. Houses and apartments inside homeowners associations are the fastest growing type of residential housing. This is an almost unlimited "market." Eastern Village is a good example of a multi-floor conventional building retrofit that works physically as cohousing. Their CH is not even central inside the building -- it is dispersed. There is a central kids room, living room, and kitchen on the first floor but other facilities are spread throughout the 5 (?) storey building, even on the roof. They used odd nooks for sitting areas with books, etc. on each floor, which breaks up the long halls and institutional feeling. Theirs was an office building but many condo buildings are the same style. One apartment on each floor could become the Common Area. Buy a small rental apartment building and gradually convert it as new people move in. I see many complexes of 75-100 small units in 1-6 buildings for sale. 2. Perfect the small communities within a large communities model. Subdivisions are important to creating community in large buildings or communities. When you can't remember everyone's name or look around and instantly know who is missing, the group is too large to maintain an intimacy any deeper than a regular neighborhood with churches and libraries and recreation centers in common. But economically the larger communities are better and not just for economies in construction. Our managing agent says the tipping point for being able to afford to hire a professional full time manager is about 100 units. A large ecovillage is going up in Australia that will have several cohousing communities inside the ecovillage. Many condominiums are huge and could have a community on each floor with shared facilities on various floors. Governance and financial arrangements, behavioral expectations, etc. 3. Special Interest Communities Communities designed with extensive facilities that focus on specific interests: gardening, child raising, crafts, seniors broadly defined, bicycling, etc. A few acres of gardens and orchards will attract people who want to garden or to eat vegetables and cook. Extensive facilities for children will attract people with children, who want to have, adopt, or foster children, and those whose own children are grown fur want children around. Perhaps people whose children or grandchildren visit often. Communities for those over 50 without children for those who are ready for less-kid friendly activities. Even without 30-something activities. Bicycling facilities in an area with bike paths, etc. would attract those who share that passion, more or less. Crafts facilities including ceramics, weaving, woodworking. Things that require specialized equipment and space. I don't think ideologically-focused works. Socially they lack diversity and claustrophobic. Who wants to live in their yoga studio or church or vegan cafe? It is also hard to keep life partners in such communities because one partner may not be a believer or practicing. The religious communities usually have a leader who is an advocate and teacher and decides what is acceptable, either overtly or covertly, and that binds the community. --- I just thought of another one but forgot it. I'll send it later. Sharon ---- Sharon Villines Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC http://www.takomavillage.org
- Re: The Future of Cohousing, (continued)
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