Re: Apartment Sharing Developer attempts to co-opt cohousing, (Jenny Guy)
From: Jenny Guy (
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2017 09:18:15 -0800 (PST)
I would say that an elected board counts as democratic self-management. I
compare senior Cohousing to other senior communities this way: the
advantage of Cohousing is that you get to make your own rules. The
disadvantage is that you have to make your own rules. (There are other
differences of course, but this is just about management.) With a typical
retirement community, there is a corporation or some other entity that owns
it and makes the rules. If a community elected a board and empowered them
to make policies, I would still call that self-governed.

To me the most important thing is that there is no other 'boss', and --
before voting -- no member with (officially) more power.

On Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 7:52 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>

> On Dec 18, 2017, at 7:26 AM, William C. Wood <woodwc [at]> wrote:
> >
> > But as for what really works -- I'd like to gently suggest that for many
> people, democratic self-management is a drawback, not an advantage. They do
> not like the idea of lots of meetings or the politicization of neighborhood
> issues.
> ​<snip> .... They are very active in their community association and one
> has been elected to the board — in a community where the board runs things.
> I do think it is helpful, however, to make distinctions between how each
> kind of housing operates. Naming them is the easiest way to do that.

​I agree, more names would help, even though these things can be hard to

Kingfisher Cohousing, Oakland Calif.

PS Sharon, your friends' community sounds like the ideal Cohousing
configuration, if a group had enough resources: front doors opening to the
community and a big, private back yard.

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