Re: Late HOA payments
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2018 18:48:35 -0700 (PDT)
On Aug 15, 2018, at 4:24 PM, Bonnie Fergusson via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> The Taboo about discussing personal finances is pretty strong.    

I understand the aristocratic roots of the social taboo — if you talk about 
money it means you don’t have any or only recently acquired it. But in 
cohousing where we all began by being as open as possible about money because 
we were dependent on each other to be able to pull out the money the minute we 
needed it. While we do have some inherited wealth sprinkled around, there is no 
expectation that people be well-heeled. 

We know how much each unit is supposed to pay each month and we know we are all 
dependent on everyone doing that. We also know that people will try to help in 
anyway they can when things go south. People will say things like “My car is 
broken and I can’t afford to get it fixed so it is sitting in the wrong parking 
place … Please let me know if that is a problem.” “I’ve put up a webpage where 
friends and family can donate funds to help pay for my adoption of 2 siblings 
from…. It will cost …. for travel, hotels, adoption fees, court fees, etc. I 
can’t afford this and will be going into debt to do this. Please help if you 
are so moved."

One of our residents has been very under employed for several years. Her son 
wanted to take a math course this summer that awards college level credit and 
will show his ability to perform in math so he can get a scholarship to MIT or 
other such place. He put up a gofundme campaign and his mother sent an email 
explaining the problem. He had more than the $2,000 he needed in a few days.

So why not be open about condo fees?

That’s a rhetorical question but feel free if you have a response that will 
help me understand this. Knowing it is true doesn’t help explain it.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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