Re: Themed, affinity, or specialty cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2017 19:54:27 -0700 (PDT)
> On Apr 4, 2017, at 10:17 PM, Roger Studley <roger [at]> wrote:
>  Temescal Commons in Oakland was started by a group associated with a 
> Methodist church. My understanding is that there was originally a desire for 
> residents to be part of both the church and
> cohousing communities, but that the church component is no longer really an
> aspect of community life. Is that correct? 

This is a central question about a community with a requirement that residents 
commit at some level to a practice or belief.  What happens when a someone 
stops believing or practicing? Do they have to leave? People change so much 
over time. Making a lifetime commitment to something when one knows little of 
what is to come, may not be the best idea.

There are many intentional and religious communities with a focus are 
successful. The “intentional” means a commitment to a philosophy or ideal. 
These communities work to varying degrees, some are highly successful. But when 
there is an ideal that is “above” the freedom and equality of each individual, 
it is a theocracy, not a democracy. Decisions are made in relation to an ideal.

Cohousing has worked to avoid this. It has strived to be a ‘normal’ diverse 
neighborhood with residents who may share similar backgrounds (Irish Catholic, 
for example) but they are not required or expected to. (It’s questionable 
however if anyone ever becomes non-Irish or non-Catholic.)

This doesn’t answer your question, obviously, but it does define the difference 
between traditional intentional and religious communities and cohousing, which 
more often describes itself as a neighborhood. There is no litmus test.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
Save Our Planet. It's the only one with chocolate.

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.