Re: Does your community clean all the common areas yourselves? - cautionary tale
From: Alan O'Hashi (
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2018 12:47:26 -0700 (PDT)
i’ll put something together. maybe a facilitated panel discussion. 

Alan O'Hashi - Cyber Office
Views from Behind the Lens

> On Oct 4, 2018, at 10:56 AM, Ann Lehman <ann [at]> wrote:
> Alan,
> 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 
> together....
> Ann Lehman
> Governance and Gender Consultant
> Zimmerman Lehman
> forging futures for nonprofits
> 510.755.5701 (Mobile)
> National Cohousing Conference, 
> May30-June2, 2019, Portland, OR
> ENEWS Subscribe to our free e-newsletter,
> ZimNotes or find us on:
>> 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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