Re: Launching June 15:
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 04:54:27 -0700 (PDT)
Maybe there is an informative analogy between cohousing and the general 
typology of which it is a subset: condominium associations (or HOAs, as they 
are known in some states).

For sure, there are many professionals and disciplines that seek to earn, and 
do earn, a living from condominiums:  Real estate developers, architects 
specializing in multi-family design, property managers, attorneys, accountants 
and reserve planning specialists, and so on.  Some of these professionals are 
focused uniquely on condos, others are active more broadly in the residential 
or real estate market.  In any event, there is money to be made, and there are 
professional associations with budgets, staff and annual conventions supporting 
the various disciplines.

But … is there a national condominium movement?  That is, an organized body of 
advocates and practitioners who believe that condominiums are the right way to 
live, and that (most) everyone should be living in condominiums?  Is there a 
national condominium association promoting condo life, and trying to draw 
people in, proselytizing the concept like a church or conservation group?  If 
there is, it is unknown to me.

So: I don’t think there is any such thing as a national condominium movement.  
Nor do I think there is much money to attract by promoting condos as a great 
idea generally.  I think there are some reasons why this might be true — and I 
think some of these reasons are applicable to cohousing.  For those of us who 
do believe that cohousing is a great idea … are we the vanguard of a movement?  
Or, are we trying to share a gift?  How we answer this question will influence 
how we conceptualize our financial model.

Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

> On Jun 16, 2016, at 10:46 PM, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at]> wrote:
>> On Jun 16, 2016, at 10:21 PM, Tiffany Lee Brown <magdalen23 [at]> 
>> wrote:
>> Why not make it so the same platform/with a differently branded app could be 
>> used for developers to start for-profit housing arrangements?
> Why would a developer or a group of developers do this unless they knew they 
> could make a profit?  What we lack is research and reliable industry figures 
> that current professionals are willing to share so as to draw other 
> professionals into the biz.  
>> The rationale in this case is to get venture capitalists and/or developers 
>> to put up the money to develop tools the rest of us need! I've spent most of 
>> my life in nonprofit, community projects. It does not behoove us to underpay 
>> our visionaries and workers, or to expect everything to be done on a 
>> volunteer basis --  this is still how I do many things, but I think it lends 
>> itself to burnout and limits community leadership and engagement to people 
>> who can afford to work for free. Not everyone has that luxury.
> I agree that we overwork our volunteers to death.   If cohousing is to grow, 
> it needs to provide people with an income so they can work in a field they 
> love full time and not “hobby” time.  
> However, I still don’t see developers putting up the money to develop tools 
> “the rest of use will use.”   First of all … who are “the rest of us?”  The 
> volunteer folks?  The folks that will  work to create one cohousinig 
> community they will live in but not another one?  How does that further the 
> movement beyond what is happening right now?   If cohousing is to really, 
> seriously take off … it needs a professional group of people who earn a 
> living at this.  Development is too big to do part time or with just 
> volunteers.   (And God Bless all the zillions of volunteers and volunteer 
> hours by paid professionals who have gotten us this far in the movement.  You 
> are Awesome!)
>> Tiffany
>> Sent from the far shores of a distant land
> Best --
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington, DC
> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
> Falls Church, VA
> 202.546.4654
> My password is the last 5 digits of Pi …
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