Re: Need information on Common House use
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2020 14:30:39 -0700 (PDT)
On Tue, Aug 25, 2020 at 9:04 AM Barbara Smith via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> why do we need a common house?

You are in the middle of a political/administrative process. Therefore, you
shouldn't take any question, even a simple-seeming one like this, at face
value. You have to look at who is asking and why.

[Katie Henry's recent post echoes this sentiment]

What are they really interested in? How will it affect your project
approval and concessions you need to make? There may be genuine
curiosity behind it, but your development/approval consultant should really
be advising you on what you are saying, how you are saying it, and who you
are saying it to.

Here's my take on a few shareable concepts around the deeper "why" of a
Common House:

* Because through sharing space and resources and time together, we can
live longer, happier lives (per research), live in smaller, more efficient
homes that cost less and use less energy.
* Because we value spending time together and want to make it easy to do so.
* Because it is easier for us all to have a meal together in a space with a
kitchen and dining areas designed for the group.
* Because we don't want to all have extra guest rooms in our homes
* Because we don't want to all have extra dining rooms for large groups in
our homes.
* Because we don't want to all have workshops/tool rooms in our homes
* Because we don't want to all have workout/exercise rooms in our homes
* Because we don't want to all have laundry machines in our homes [leave
this out if you do... or sometimes the bank or construction lender will
make you]
* Because we don't want to all be isolated all the time, especially as we
age / kids move out, etc.
* Because it is fun to be around other people and enjoy their company
* Because it is great to be able to work a little on a puzzle, either
together or one at a time.
* Because we need somewhere to put the bike parking

What would you add to the list?

This could make for a fun session at the just-announced Cohousing Open 2020
national conference coming October 4, where we all can bring our
topics/interests/questions and present on or work on them together. Stay
tuned for more on that.

Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
Cohousing California

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