Re: Senior & MG Co-Housing
From: Fred-List manager (fholsoncohousing.org)
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 04:51:36 -0800 (PST)
Rita Bullinger <ritabullinger [at] gmail.com>
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Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at] cohousing.org>
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Interesting discussion.
I’ve only lived in CH now for less than two years and while I am in
my early 60s I very much want more young families, young singles, and
young people in general as my neighbors.

I don’t understand, exactly, the allure of living with just elders.
The few young people we have here at Germantown Commons, Nashville (25
households) add liveliness and energy to our community as a whole. Not
that those of us in the 55-77 (our oldest member) age bracket also
aren’t lively and interesting — we are! — but I never wanted to
live in an old folks’ home. We have six out of 25 households with
owners under 40. The rest of the homes are owned by people over 55.
We’ve recently had turnover with a 55+ owner, an-under 40 owner, and
a 25-year old couple moving out, replaced by two 55+ owners and a
30-ish couple moving in.

We don’t have issues yet with noise caused by children as only two
children reside here, one an infant and one almost two. Our two year
old lives with his single mom and his great-uncle and auntie just down
the way. GCN occupies just an acre in a very urban neighborhood with
beautiful landscaping but a front lawn that’s not even half the size
of a football field. We do live close to a large park.

We also enjoy our members’ grandchildren who visit regularly — but
not often enough for my liking. I love the age-range of the grandkids,
too, from newly born twins to early 20s. Our four year old grandchild
just celebrated his birthday in the common house and the screams and
screeches of delight coming from him and his guests pleased me
immensely. The party lasted two hours max!

As far as serenity goes, there’s plenty of that here — except for
the constant construction noise — word is 800 people move to
Nashville every day. Our common house, though small, is often empty
during the day and for those retired or semi-retired (about a dozen of
us) daytime hours in our courtyard and common spaces often languish
with very little activity, not counting the occasional UPS driver
loping through with a package or workman coming to hang blinds or fix
an appliance.

Our young people mingle pretty well with the over 50 folk. One member
wants to grow hops to brew beer and invited the community to a
beer-making workshop where lots of tasting was part of the fun. Our
common house was used recently for the mostly millenial-led Nashville
Feminist Collective; an impressive 50 women and a few men of all ages
gathered. My 27-year-old neighbor and I have started an Art & Politics
group that meets twice-monthly in our common house to make art and
send postcards to our representatives in Congress, or any elected
official with whom we want to communicate our concerns, thanks, and
requests. One of our members started a women’s group and we range in
age from 27-71.

I live below a young couple and their newborn. I do hear walking
around upstairs, running of pipes, bedsprings creaking, but it is not
a problem. If it is, I text them and ask to talk to them and we work
it out. But so far after two years it has not been a problem at all.
Our young people are reluctant to ask for help with childcare; we
older folks have to ask to spend time with the babies!

I know you will create the community you want and I support you in
your journey. Here at GCN, I’d like to see more young people move
in, and actively encourage those in our community who are selling
their units to please consider younger, more diverse, and more male
members (we have a preponderance of females in our 55+ population).
The problem for us going forward is affordability. It is expensive to
live in Nashville in general and Germantown in particular. Let us know
what you decide to do. I look forward to reading about your progress.

Rita Bullinger
Germantown Commons
Nashville, Tennessee

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