Re: Records Checks for Cohousing Group Members
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 25 May 2020 12:45:15 -0700 (PDT)
> On May 25, 2020, at 12:45 PM, frances woolison <franceswoolison [at] 
>> wrote:
> I am a member of a forming Canadian cohousing group. We are currently 
> establishing the Bylaws and Policies for our Corporation. One group member is 
> adamant that those joining the community as members now, and others 
> purchasing units in the community in the future, be required to undergo a 
> Criminal Records check and a Vulnerable Persons Abuse Registry check

One of the reasons  I think cohousing communities haven’t felt it was important 
to background checks is that by the time you move in, you  know each other very 
well. You will have been working together for months if not years. Does anyone 
know what a background check would tell you that you can’t find on a Google 
search? Or the bank won’t find during mortgage approval?

The other reason is that people who are “up to something” don’t choose a living 
situation like cohousing. The first precondition to abuse is secrecy. While 
privacy is easy in cohousing, secrecy is less predictable. There are just too 
many people of all ages who are running around at all times of the day.

In spite of all the heist movies in which people plan crimes for years, a 
police detective told me 2 weeks was the norm. Fast and easy. 

Nothing in cohousing is fast and easy. Particularly when it means first 
building and buying a unit.

Sharon Villines
sustainablecohousing [at]
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