Senior coops [was: Re: Orientation/Owners manuals
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2020 09:01:27 -0700 (PDT)
I would restate Vicki's question (below) as:
Are there other people on Cohousing-L who are residents of a Senior Coop?

I would not describe the Senior Coops that I am familiar with as cohousing
tho there are similarities.   IMHO they have lower level of communitas
** than cohousing.

We do not live in a Senior Coop tho we have been on the waiting list
for one for over a year but so far we declined to buy an available share
(unit). There have been quite a few shares available at this coop
implying a significant turnover of residents in this coop - others have long
waiting lists.  We are waiting to see if Cedar Cohousing
( gets built in a location I find
acceptable. I'd also be reluctant to move away from the neighborhood
we've lived in for over 40 years.

Senior coops have common facilities typically including dining facilities,
lounges, libraries etc but less frequent community meals, less
community involvement in community operation (professional
management), developed with little involvement of future residents.
They are typically developed by developers who special in coops.
Unlike Vicki's I think most Senior Coops have signifcantly more units
/ residents which make higher levels of communitas ** more difficult.

Curiously of the 130 or so established coops (more are being developed)
about 80 are in Minnesota.  See my page about the Senior coop directory at .

As I understand it, the reason Senior coops are concentrated in MN is
that some coop activists here learned of a provision in federal law
that provides special financing (longer term loans) for such coops and
promoted the idea here.

Also unlike Vickie's some Senior coops are limited equity rather than
market rate which means that when people buy a share (which roughly
corresponds to buying a unit) they agree to sell it for what they paid
plus a modest increase for inflation and improvements.  This promotes
long term affordability.  This is similar to the land trust model.

 What was that word? "Communitas." Communitas is a fancy social science
 way of saying "spirit of community." And in visiting over 80 different
 communities, my measure of communitas became: How frequently did
 residents eat together? While it's completely up to each group how
 frequently they have common meals, I know some that have eaten
 together every single night for the past 40 years. I know others that
 have an occasional potluck once or twice a month. And from my
 observations, I can tell you, those that eat together more frequently,
 exhibit higher levels of communitas. It turns out, when you eat
 together, you start planning more activities together. When you eat
 together, you share more things. You start to watch each other's kids.
 You lend our your power tools. You borrow each other's cars.

>From Grace Kim in

Vicki Rittner (vickirittner [at] wrote:
>Are there other members of this group who own and live in a unit in a
>market-rate, age-restricted residential cooperative? I began to investigate
>co-housing in early 2016, and a few months later discovered a "just
>announced" project of 52 apartment-style homes, in a 3-story building with
>underground climate-controlled parking. I signed up and purchased my
>"share" a year before ground-breaking, and the building opened in March
>2019. Owners are not required to do anything to support the community, and
>we have an elected board of directors and a professional management
>Does that meet your definition or understanding of co-housing?
>Village Cooperative of Fort Collins (Colorado)


Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
     Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
My Link Pg:

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