Re: How can we attract diverse associate members?
From: Fiona Frank (
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2021 12:01:43 -0700 (PDT)
After a three year discussion, Lancaster Cohousing are currently in the
process of buying back one of the homes which a member was selling: it's
being financed by loans from members to Lancaster Cohousing. We're then
going to be able to rent this home out longterm and not have to worry about
an owner renting out a home and then getting a buyer and making the tenant
leave in favour of someone who can afford to buy.

this hopefully will in the long term change our diversity makeup... but
watch this space!

On Sat, 27 Mar 2021 at 16:46, Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> > On Mar 25, 2021, at 9:56 PM, Brenda Asis <brendaasis1 [at]> wrote:
> > Can you help us with ideas about how to promote *associate membership?*
> We
> > would like to attract individuals who could not afford to buy a home in
> our
> > community and we would also like to increase the presence of families
> with
> > children.
> With children, build playgrounds and and a kids room inside.
> And idea from a book I just read but I can’t remember which one it was:
> Have friends who fill your definition of “diverse” introduce you to groups
> of “their” people to whom you can give an introductory talk to — explain
> cohousing, that you have an associate member membership, and are happy to
> help other groups begin a new cohousing community.
> > Also, how do you choose associate members?  Would you reserve spaces for
> > associate members who meet your vision and also have a waitlist if you
> have
> > too many from other demographics?
> We do have associate members but they are people who live here — usually
> renters.
> Our lawyer asked an interesting question when we had just moved in and
> wanted to have associate members just to share our facilities and
> resources. She said, “Then what kind of organization would you be? You
> wouldn’t be a condominium but condos are about residents and owners. You
> aren’t licensed to have public facilities (like the workshop or hot tub).”
> She suggested that we put that on hold because we had so many things to
> sort out already. We had just moved in the place still looked vaguely
> unfinished. When I remember that meeting, I remember plaster dust
> everywhere in the CH, on furniture and in piles on the floor. 2x4s leaning
> against walls. Broken wall board. I’m sure it didn’t look like that but it
> did feel like it.
> Learning to make decisions together is work that needs attention. Bringing
> in people who have a different relationship to the group is another level
> of difficulty. Plus issues of liability and insurance. At some point the
> associate members may not be covered as “guests” on your insurance.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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