Re: What should we be worked about?
From: Martha Wagner (
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:08:09 -0700 (PDT)
Martha Wagner
(503) 319-3353

On Jun 18, 2014, at 3:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:

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Today's Topics:

  1. What SHOULD I be worried about? (Michelle Burce)
  2. Re: What SHOULD I be worried about? (R Philip Dowds)
  3. Re: What SHOULD I be worried about? (Mary Kaplan)
  4. Re: What SHOULD I be worried about? (Sharon Villines)
  5. Re: What SHOULD I be worried about? (R Philip Dowds)
  6. Re: What SHOULD I be worried about? (Sharon Villines)


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:24:51 -0700
From: Michelle Burce <michelleburce [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_ What SHOULD I be worried about?
        <CAGAYeuVRcRFopb=VRGZpFvC2c0-M-UOV4Sr-bVp48Um0QfUgmQ [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Hi everyone!

I'm part of a group working to build cohousing, and the resources available
on this list and its archives have been AMAZINGLY helpful! Thank you all
for sharing your wisdom over the years.

So far, many of my fears have been allayed by this list, since so many of
the responses to various problems seem to be "Communicate with your
neighbors and it will all work out fine." Choosing who gets which lot? "We
haven't had too many conflicts." Reserving the common house? "Usually not a
problem." Worried about too little privacy? "Don't worry too much."

So my question to you cohousing veterans is: What should we be worried
about / work out in advance / get a good plan for NOW? What are the bumps
in the road that actually take a solid process, or a professional, or a lot
more money than we think? What one (or two or three) piece(s) of advice
would you give some folks who have a group formed and meeting, have land
and architects picked out, but have not yet dropped the huge sums of money
to make this happen?

I think we, as cohousing newbies, might be focusing our energies in
worrying about those things that can get worked out, but are not seeing the
things that can stymie a whole community.

Thanks everyone!

Hello Michelle:

As others have suggested, you don't "need" to be worried but I would suggest 
your group think seriously about learning nonviolent communication (NVC) or 
participate in some other type of communication training before you move in and 
if people don't want to do that, find out why. When disagreements arise, you 
will be very glad that your members have that as a foundation. I speak from 
experience, as my community did not do this.  If you are located near other 
cohousing groups, consider them as resources. In my area we have a quarterly 
potluck/meeting of cohousing communities that is informal and attended by a 
small number from various communities.

Martha Wagner
Portland, OR
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