Re: associate membership policies
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2014 08:26:15 -0800 (PST)
For me, the lesser issue is that of fit and role of people living offsite, but 
interested in cohousing, and perhaps candidates for buying in.  It’s certainly 
to our communal advantage to maintain a favorable image in our region, and to 
have a list of households who see themselves as possible future neighbors.  But 
I don’t care a lot, one way or the other, whether such parties are 
“associates”, or coming to help on workdays, or participating in revising our 
pet policy, or paying us money.

What’s more interesting to me is, What do we do about renters?  That is, those 
residents who live with us on our site, sometimes for years — and who often 
have valuable skills and/or real interest in trying out intentional community — 
but whose names are not logged in at the Registry of Deeds.  Do we really want 
them to have fewer rights and responsibilities than absentee landlords (of 
which Cornerstone usually has a couple, sometimes more)?  Do we really want 
them meddling in our long-term plans and policies, when they might pick up and 
flee at any moment?  Are the expectations different for someone who rents a 
room in a member’s unit, as opposed to someone renting the entire unit 
permanently vacated, but not released to market, by a former member?  What?

What are others doing about this?

On Mar 1, 2014, at 11:04 AM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]> wrote:

> I'll add that I've been chatting with some of our associates who are NOT 
> happy with our policy.
> Essentially "have the same rights and responsibilities as members" does not 
> feel good to folk who try to live up to the letter of the law. 
> Despite very active involvement they feel guilty for not coming to meetings, 
> don't WANT to be allowed to speak to "what its like to live here" issues, 
> feel they should not have equal role in consensus decision making, and don't 
> think they should have to do the same level of work.
> So we still have some work to do.
> -Liz
> (The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill
> 508-450-0431
> On Feb 28, 2014, at 8:41 AM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]> 
> wrote:
>> At Mosaic Commons we do have associate members, meaning in this case
>> non-resident members.
>> We spent a lot of time and energy working out a much clearer policy.
>> *MEMBERS* must be residents (;
>> others are *ASSOCIATES* (
>> (All this is separate from our HOA, in which membership is clear: it's for
>> owners, period.  After all, that's what the "O" is HOA stands for :-)
>> Diana
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