Elevator Speech
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2016 07:14:29 -0800 (PST)
This is Raines’ Elevator Speech. Each point will take you up one floor or to 
the next level of a person’s interest. If it’s a tall building and/or they are 
still listening, you get to the end.

        • It’s condos with community: about 20 to 30 homes on average, 
clustered together
        • We all have our own private homes, with a large shared area — a 
common house
        • We all have our own kitchens, but we do meals together a few times a 
        • I know my neighbors, we run the community by consensus
        • We’re basically recreating an old-fashioned village, overcoming the 
isolation of the last half century
        • Some are individual homes, some townhouses, some condos [include your 
own project design/vision and experience here]. In general we live in smaller 
spaces because of our shared space and resources
        • It’s a national movement, with 116 cohousing neighborhoods 
established over the last two decades, with a similar number under development
        • We start green and get greener — way more than just the “sticks and 
bricks” of green building, studies show: car-sharing, composting, saving energy 
way more than the average American
        • It’s intergenerational and very popular with parents, but we’ve got a 
lot of interest from boomers in senior cohousing, specifically designed to 
support the aging process and help them maintain their independence and stay 
out of nursing homes
        • It’s great for activists — I can host a meeting in the Common House, 
without even cleaning house.
        • I learn a lot from my neighbors and do things with them
        • Legally it’s a condominium, so we don’t have a guru, we all have our 
own incomes, our own mortgages, and there’s no wife-swapping [you can apologize 
here if they look disappointed]
        • We get professional help with decision-making and conflict prevention 
and resolution, so we look for mutually optimal solutions.
        • It’s the fastest-growing sector of the Intentional Communities 
movement, because we partner with professional developers and leverage the 
system, so the banks will finance it and cities/counties will approve it
        • It comes from Denmark, and was brought over to the U.S. by two 
architects [at this point if someone’s very engaged, I pull out the green-cover 
        • We’re having a meeting/orientation/tour/common meal next ___ (or 
every ___), [hand them your postcard-sized or tri-fold simple flyer] would you 
like to come learn more and see it for yourself?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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