Re: Subject: Re: Guest room or cheap hotel?
From: Madeline Nelson (
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 08:43:25 -0800 (PST)
I’m going to chime in here as someone who has stayed at 4 cohousing 
communities, once in a guest room and 3 times in members' apartments as a house 
sitter. (So, the hosting people weren't there.) In each case my partner and I 
were exploring the community as well as others nearby. We participated in 
community activities like helping prepare or clean up for common meals, do 
garden work, sit in on meetings. We still haven’t moved from our Brooklyn 
apartment, but in each case it was a wonderful experience and greatly deepened 
our understanding of how cohousing works (and sometimes doesn’t), as well as 
getting a great feel for the neighborhood and town. 

I also think it’s legitimate for like-minded people, either from other 
cohousing communities or prospective cohousers, to stay at a community for 
reasons such as going to a conference or even exploring as a tourist. I think 
the key is clearness all around about motivation and expectations.


On Jan 29, 2014, at 10:44 AM, Melanie Mindlin <sassetta [at]> wrote:

> As a cohousing member who occasionally travels on a tight budget, I am very 
> grateful to the communities that have allowed me to use their guest room as a 
> "hotel".  I think there is a difference between my category of visitor and 
> those who are using the IC directory to couch surf under false pretenses.  
> There are not so many people who are actually living in cohousing that it 
> will put pressure on our guest rooms, and when there are lots more in the 
> distant future, there will also be lots more cohousing guest rooms to 
> accommodate them.  When a cohousing member comes to visit, there is no need 
> to uphold a pretense that they are investigating your community which wastes 
> everyone's time and energy.  There is however a delightful camaraderie of 
> shared experiences and shared expectations about respectful use of the 
> premises.  
> I hope to be able to visit your town and stay in your guest room sometime, 
> come to a common meal and chat about cohousing, and help clean up afterwards. 
>  We have offered our common house guest room likewise, and our visitors that 
> live in other cohousing communities have been easy to accommodate and fun to 
> meet.  We usually refrain from signing up these kind of visitors a long time 
> in advance so as to make sure that no community member needs the room for a 
> visiting family member which would take precedence.
> Melanie Mindlin
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