Re: Reserving units for families
From: Bob Leigh (
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2021 17:36:54 -0700 (PDT)
It might depend on what stage of development you’re in.  About 20-25 years
ago, when Cornerstone Cohousing was pre-construction, we accepted new full
members by consensus.  We discussed setting demographic goals, obtained
advice that we could legally do so, but decided not to.  However, our
marketing efforts were inclined towards families with kids or planning to
have them soon.  Of our 32 units, over 50% were bought by such households.

Ten or fifteen years later, we had no babies and only a handful of young
kids, and many of us old-timers were graying.  A sizeable chunk of our
households did not want to see our community become a Naturally Occurring
Retirement Community but wanted to maintain an inter generational
community.  They sought a way to get more families with babies or planning
to have them.  They discovered that fair housing laws definitely did apply
to unit resales, that we could not legally restrict units or select buyers
using such criteria, and that our best bet was, yet again, to aim our
marketing efforts at the demographic we wanted more of.

Along the way, one neighbor who was moving out for financial reasons was
_extremely_ offended to be told, oh, we’re sorry to see you go, but we hope
you don’t sell to another middle-aged single woman like yourself!

So consider what your goal is, and whether you need a restriction or
whether a more subtle approach is sufficient.

Bob Leigh
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA, US

On Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 7:26 PM Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]>

> By family do you mean family with kids? If so, I think that’s illegal.
> On Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 7:06 PM Elizabeth Grant <beeegrant [at]>
> wrote:
> > River Song Cohousing in Eugene, OR is seeking input from communities
> > that have reserved units for families.
> >
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