Re: Does your community clean all the common areas yourselves? - cautionary tale
From: Diane (
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2018 07:34:09 -0700 (PDT)
A note about O'Hashi and his community = from him
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
Date: Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 9:56 AM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Does your community clean all the common areas
yourselves? - cautionary tale
To: cohousing-l [at] <cohousing-l [at]>
Cc: Alan O'Hashi <adoecos [at]>

Cohousers - This is a cautionary tale. At my place, which is a senior
community, when I first moved into the place, there was a high level of
individual member participation.

During the 10 years I've been here, participation has waned lately due to
aging issues around health, "aha" moments about aging and wanting to travel
more. In addition, during this time 31 percent of the community has turned
over and three basements have been converted into "housemate" rentals.

Participation around here now is largely sitting in meetings deciding who
to hire to do the work. We contract out all of the heavy lifting: snow
removal, cleaning the common house, landscaping. In a sense we contract out
community dinners because we have pot lucks rather than working together to
prepare meals.

Forming communities should look to the future about how to deal getting the
work done when neighbors age.

We're going through this now, but on a reactionary basis. The duty
prescription is not onerous. Members are asked to be on one team, clean up
after a dinner and lock up the common house from time to time. Since the
"work" now is sitting in meetings, there tends to be static membership on
teams without much rotation and thus, no room for new members.

In addition, the gardening team was eliminated because those attracted to
that work didn't like to make agendas and take minutes. Whether or not de
facto gardening is counted as "community participation" is unclear. There
was a note that recently came out asking for ideas about types of work that
could be counted toward participation or made up work that people could do.

Compounding the aging issue is this. Another four houses - 25 percent - are
selling within the year and at the same time. As such, much is in flux
because of the prospects of a bunch of new neighbors moving into the

ThxAlan O.
Alan O'Hashi - ECOS
EnviroCultural Organization Systems
Colorado 303-910-5782
Wyoming 307-274-1910
Nebraska 402-327-1652
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Diane Margolis
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Cambridge, MA 02140
617 354 1349

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