Re: Co-Living Survey
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2020 13:59:02 -0700 (PDT)
Hello Graham — I agree w/ you. In my reply I said something like if Dwayne and 
his team fit our loosely defined standards for participating on this list.  I 
also said … if he does then let’s support him as we do any other person joining 
the list.

If you read Raines’s email reply to Dwayne you will see the places where Raines 
(and others) are looking for more information.  I want to hear about Dwayne's 
project.  Even if it isn’t  cohousing what he knows could be valuable to us and 
what we know could be valuable to him.  I’m all for sharing ideas “across the 
aisle” as the saying goes.  If we want cohousing to be more affordable and more 
scaleable then we need to involve people who develop other kinds of housing and 

Or … maybe we have misinterpreted his email in which case I hope he responds 
and straightens out this misunderstanding. I’m total willing to share w/ anyone 
who is willing to share w/ me.

A few times, and I stress just a few times, I’ve had people ask me for 
information about cohousing - which I’m always happy to supply.  Then, later I 
see they used it in something they were doing and were just “picking my brain.” 
 (Not much left to pick now …)  So now I meet w/ people who have read Creating 
Cohousing or any of the previous editions of the book, Senior Cohousing or The 
Cohousing Handbook.  Or they’ve come to a tour or workshop. Something that 
indicates their interest that is more than just a passing idea.

Here’s a request to everyone:  

In the spirit of connectedness an mutuality — which are what I believe people 
are asking for --please include w/ your signature, the community you are 
associated w/ (if you are), along w/ your geographic location.  It helps me 
feel I am not talking into a void.  Also gives me a sense of where cohousing is 
sprouting up. I love to think about that!

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Member, Board of Directors
Mid Atlantic Cohousing
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

Dear Karma — I have a list of people you missed.

> On Mar 8, 2020, at 2:32 PM, Graham Freeman via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
>> wrote:
> And yet, he's asking questions in order to get to know this better.
> This strong negative response to a newcomer who is seeking to gain
> knowledge is offputting. It resembles the NIMBYism typically seen on
> Nextdoor.
> I think a bit of inclusion, and assuming good intentions, wouldn't hurt.
> Graham
> On Sun, 8 Mar 2020 at 09:47, Lynne MARKELL <lmarkell [at]> wrote:
>> Totally inappropriate as the features for a co-living commercial building
>> are very different from features in a cohousing community.
>> Obviously doesn't know the field very well.
>> Lynne Markell,
>> Lmarkell [at]
>> (613) 842-5222
>>> On Mar 7, 2020, at 2:37 PM, Fiona Frank <fionafrank [at]> wrote:
>>> I asked him who ‘we’ is and he replied :
>>> “We are ux designers from general assembly in New York. We are designing
>> an
>>> app for the launch of a national Co living company and we want to make
>> sure
>>> we add the features that users want.
>>> Thanks”
>>> Hmmm!
>>> Dwayne
>>>> On Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 10:34 AM Fiona Frank <fionafrank [at]> 
>>>> wrote:
>>>> What is your team?
>>>> On Saturday, 7 March 2020, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at]> wrote:
>>>> Thank you Raines for your quick response to this query from Dwayne.
>>>> Speaking for myself, — and I am unanimous in this.. :-) —after years
>>>> working in the Cohousing field I assume everybody is coming from the
>> same
>>>> place I am i.e. sharing information of all kinds.  When a cohousing
>>>> community is built everyone benefits — i’m all for that whoever is
>> building
>>>> it.
>>>> And ... there are people and institutions out there in the world that
>>>> would take advantage of the blood sweat and tears (lots of tears...)
>> we’ve
>>>> put into this movement.
>>>> So Raines… I am really glad you asked the questions that you did. I also
>>>> like the way you characterized this listserv. And, if Dwayne or anyone
>> else
>>>> falls within our loosely defined organizational standards I trust we
>> will
>>>> support them and their queries as we do everyone else.
>>>> Ann Zabaldo
>>>> Takoma Village Cohousing
>>>> Member of the board  Mid Atlantic Cohousing
>>>> Washington DC
>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>> All tiipos ... curtesy of Siri  :-)
>>>>> On Mar 7, 2020, at 10:19 AM, Raines Cohen <rc3-coho-L [at]>
>> wrote:
>>>>> Welcome to the world of cohousing, Dwayne. Nice of you to drop into
>> our
>>>>> decades-long-established link for conversations about community.
>>>>> However, I do need to call out a few things you've done (or neglected)
>>>> that
>>>>> don't comport with the standards for this list:
>>>>> 1. You never say who the "we" is - in your message or on the form. A
>>>>> startup? A think tank? An established business in the space? A
>>>> consultancy
>>>>> serving one or more? Based where? With any background in particular
>>>>> communities? We are a conversational community, and we have more
>>>>> meaningful conversations when we have context for where your questions
>>>> are
>>>>> coming from and what overlaps.
>>>>> 2. Cohousing is shared neighborhoods with separate private homes, most
>>>>> often in a condo homeownership model. The example you link to, and the
>>>> term
>>>>> "co-living" (often as a hashtag without the hyphen), are shared homes
>>>> with
>>>>> private or shared rooms, with shared facilities. Closer to boarding
>>>> houses.
>>>>> Very different in nature, and I rather suspect that any answers we
>>>> provide
>>>>> will be like comparing apples and oranges if you're trying to aggregate
>>>>> data.
>>>>> 3. The form says the data will only be used for "research," but doesn't
>>>>> identify what sort, who will have access to it, whether the required
>>>> email
>>>>> address and other Personally Identifiable Information will be linked to
>>>>> responses, the sort of things that are required to be disclosed in
>>>> academic
>>>>> human-subjects research supervision, and are slowly starting to be
>>>> required
>>>>> in marketing in some states and countries. If you truly want to learn
>>>> from
>>>>> established data about the cohousing world, please engage with the
>>>>> Cohousing Research Network - part of their mission is to provide a
>> single
>>>>> shared repository of data so we all aren't answering the same basic
>>>>> questions over and over again for every student working on a project.
>>>>> I note that by the final page of the survey, several screens in, you
>> ask
>>>>> whether the respondent is willing to be contacted for an interview or
>>>> 30-45
>>>>> minute call. So it sounds like this is an intake form for market
>> research
>>>>> panels, and it might be better for folks to know that before they start
>>>>> filling it out.
>>>>> Nice of you to pop in, but if you want true engagement with our
>> community
>>>>> of communities, please meet us with actual dialog and conversation and
>>>>> context. As it is, I can't recommend that our 5000+ East Bay Cohousing
>>>>> members, or others on this list, respond.
>>>>> Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
>>>>> East Bay Cohousing / Cohousing CA
>>>>> right now more focused on how to keep our communities safe and
>> accessible
>>>>> for all - see the WebChats scheduled for the next two weeks
>>>>>>> On Wed, Mar 4, 2020 at 8:08 PM Dwayne McFarlane <dwaine18 [at] 
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Hello All,
>>>>>> My team would like to interview individuals or couples that currently
>>>> live
>>>>>> in co-living or community themed housings - Think If you
>>>> can
>>>>>> help, please take the quick screener survey linked below.
>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>> Dwayne
>>>> AeQFiSCHKjSr67LCpX64L7VwC5LADoFRtgr0-FD-pQ/viewform
>>>>>> _________________________________________________________________
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> -- 
> Graham Freeman
> _________________________________________________________________
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