Re: Records Checks for Cohousing Group Members
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 11:08:46 -0700 (PDT)
> On May 25, 2020, at 2:43 PM, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at]> wrote:

> Without going into too much detail (because I no longer remember all the 
> details from 22 years ago) we did have a person who wanted to join Takoma 
> Village in the very early days of our formation who had served time in prison 
> for sexually abusing a child. Let me be very clear, the issues at the time 
> surrounding this were not as clear cut as that last sentence I just wrote.  
> The short of it was the person was not accepted into the community.  it was 
> just too big an issue w/ too many moving parts.

Just to expand on Ann’s memory — he actually withdrew after hearing the 
opinions and feelings of the rest of the group. A meeting was called in which 
they were able to ask questions and he was allowed to give his explanations. In 
the course of that meeting, it became clear to him that if he didn’t withdraw, 
a number of households would leave and the project would be in peril. 

The reason I wanted to clarify that is I didn’t want to leave the impression 
that we voted people out (or in). I think it is much better for the group to 
get to know each other and allow that process to show people whether it is a 
good fit or not. And this requires expecting people to participate and take on 

Although our Rentals and Resales pod pointed out to me that 20 years in, we 
don’t have the option of getting to know people so well. And people want to 
live here because it’s all built and looks beautiful. The amount of work 
required is not visible. The schedule of meals and other social activities look 
like fun, again with no understanding of the work required. And the amount of 
learning involved in hiring a contractor to replace decks and balconies.

So the Pod is requiring (as much as anyone can require in cohousing) that 
people read a book (I think) on cohousing and attend meetings and workdays. And 
sign a form that says they have done that. This information is available to 
sellers so help them choose the buyer who seems most interested in all aspects 
of cohousing.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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