Re: Vetting New Members
From: Dick Margulis (
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2017 07:42:01 -0800 (PST)
On 12/20/2017 4:42 PM, Tom wrote:
Is it possible to vet new members in a senior cohousing community within the 
confines of the Fair Housing Act? Can a community deny membership based on 
incompatibility or to people who don't share the same values and goals?

We've had extensive discussions on this topic with officials here in Connecticut, and here's the understanding we've come to.

The short answer is no, you cannot vet new members or deny membership based on incompatibility.

What you can is establish requirements for home ownership that include

• attending an information session about cohousing
• attending a training session on your governance system
• agreeing to abide by written rules
• affirming agreement with your written statement of values
• visiting a cohousing community (yours if it's already in existence)

In other words, you can set up a fairly elaborate system of self-selection criteria that will make it obvious to a prospective resident whether they will be comfortable living there. But you cannot affirmatively reject someone just because you don't think they'll be compatible. And all the other conditions of fair housing apply, such as accommodating disabilities (including an disability that prevents full participation in your governance system or that requires exceptions to other specific rules).

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