|Re: cohousing communities that have not made it||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: fernselzer (fernselzeraol.com)|
|Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2021 12:56:00 -0700 (PDT)|
Hi all I am one of the founding members of New Brighton Cohousing and we did make it so far. We went through many years in Santa Cruz of monthly meetings, making consensus agreements about how we would be organized, make decisions, etc. We did a lot of work, attended several "getting it built" workshops from Katie McCamant, cohousing annual meetings and many tours and visits. Locally every time we found possible property, we could easily collect other people who wanted to join but they didn't want to do the work or pay any money until the way was clear. Finally, Katie advised us to close our group to only our main hard-working members and create our guidelines, plans, legal structures and put up money ourselves before opening up to others. There were 5 of us and none of us had a lot of money, but we each put in $10,000. Building from scratch locally was looking more and more expensive and we couldn't really compete with developers, so we broadened our search. A slightly run-down, 11 unit commercial townhouse complex happened to come up for sale whose existing design included parking around the perimeter, an inner courtyard and an extra main house on the property which makes our common house. The situation was not what we originally envisioned but we were able to purchase it and create community and continue to improve our property. I think that what was needed for success in our local environment was a strong core group willing to work over a long period of time (without a guarantee of success), willingness to put up at least some money for seed money, flexibly dealing with many roadblocks, and advice from cohousing resources. If you hang on inflexibly to your vision, it's a problem. What are you going to sacrifice? location? cost? dedicated time? Who helped us the most was Katie who had a lot of practical knowledge, both personally and professionally, including knowledge of the roadblocks.In my cohousing community, there are only two households still here left of the original 5 members from 2007. One member who did a lot of the original work dropped out of the group when we decided on a property 5 miles from Santa Cruz. (everyone who dropped out did get their money back- but not their time of course) The others owning here don't even know her name and have no idea how much work we put in month after month with no guarantee of outcome. The joy comes from living in community; the disgruntlement from living with the complaints from the frustrated members who came after us about how much work they must do, how much it costs, and how unfair it is.Just my perspective and fortunately, the complainers are not the majority. FernNew Brighton CohousingAptos, CA -----Original Message----- From: cohousing-l-request [at] cohousing.org To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org Sent: Sun, Aug 1, 2021 3:16 am Subject: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 211, Issue 1 Send Cohousing-L mailing list submissions to cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit https://lists.cohousing.org/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to cohousing-l-request [at] cohousing.org You can reach the person managing the list at cohousing-l-owner [at] cohousing.org When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific than "Re: Contents of Cohousing-L digest..." Today's Topics: 1. Re: question about cohousing communities that have not made it (Sharon Villines) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message: 1 Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2021 12:59:04 -0400 From: Sharon Villines <sharon [at] sharonvillines.com> To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ question about cohousing communities that have not made it Message-ID: <6DD0F34B-A45B-4E1B-837F-39C0DCB7E377 [at] sharonvillines.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8 > On Jul 29, 2021, at 7:57 PM, T G <triciamill9 [at] gmail.com> wrote: > > 64% failure rate, wow. Does anyone know how long most people keep trying > before they decide to throw in the towel? I mean, you can only put in so > much money before you decide to cut your losses.....Where is the breaking > point? In the earliest periods the issue isn?t usually about money but about the time it takes to develop a strong core group, learn what needs to be done, and make a plan to do it. The number of groups that fail are probably still at this point. Groups have lost a lot of money trying to develop cohousing ? just as everyone else who has tried to develop a real estate dependent project. Real estate is risky. Eventually, it means finding households who can afford to pay for the units a group plans. That is a dynamic process of we have these people who can afford this ? is that what we can build. And the ?we? is important. Cohousing is a cooperative process of people working together by sharing abilities. More and more mainstream developers are becoming more interested in cohousing. The actual process is not so different than developing any other multi-household property. The client may not even be less complicated than other clients. So more developers can be enticed but it does help to have a developer. I don?t have the numbers but I can?t imagine that a developer doesn?t save groups money. It has to cost more to build 35 units when you start from knowing nothing and have to get up to speed from ground zero than if you build 35 units with someone who has done it before. Groups also fall apart when so much time has gone by that the core people are no longer able to continue focusing on cohousing. People who want their children to start school in a place where they will stay until high school will want to plant themselves in such a school district and not wait until the group has land. People also leave the area. The estimate at one point was that in the US, one-third of all households move every year. So there is a normal flow of people whose lives are changing unrelated to cohousing. Imagine yourself sitting in a room with 10 people ? some friends and some strangers. Now begin discussing locations and architectural design preferences. You have a pile of papers with numbers that tell you what it will take financially to do this or that. How long do you think that group would stay together? What compromises would need to be made? How far are you willing to go in changing your living arrangements to allow everyone in the group to stay? The failure rate is high because the idea is compelling and so many people think they want to live in cohousing. That doesn?t mean the 64% were all very realistic in their plans. Or that they got far enough to have plans. Sharon ??? Sharon Villines, Editor & Publisher Affordable Housing means 30% of household income Cohousing means self-developed, self-governed, self-managed http://affordablecohousing.com ------------------------------ Subject: Digest Footer _________________________________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: http://L.cohousing.org/info ------------------------------ End of Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 211, Issue 1 *******************************************
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