Re: Does your community clean all the common areas yourselves? - cautionary tale
From: Ann Lehman (
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2018 09:56:55 -0700 (PDT)

I know you are already doing a lot but I think this topic would make an
excellent panel discussion with folks from different communities discussing
the positives and negatives of having outsiders do the work, and the
realities of aging population.  If you were so inclined to put a panel

Ann Lehman
Governance and Gender Consultant
Zimmerman Lehman*forging futures for nonprofits
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On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 6:56 AM Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> 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
> community.
> 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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