Letter to Chuck Durrett re: developer-driven cohousing as an option
From: Steve Welzer (stevenwelzergmail.com)
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2021 10:27:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steven Welzer <steven.welzer [at] gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 10:37 AM
Subject: The article in the New York Times today was prominent and
outstanding
To: Charles (Chuck) Durrett <charles.durrett [at] cohousingco.com>

Hi, Chuck -

re:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/22/opinion/cohousing-mothers-pandemic-community.html

Congratulations on the publication of a prominent article that surely will
advance our movement.

As I’ve mentioned to you in the past, it’s a shame that the 20 million
people in the New York-New Jersey-Philadelphia metropolitan area don’t have
a single cohousing option.

The Mount Eden and Three Groves projects failed. Rocky Corner Cohousing in
New Haven, CT and Altair EcoVillage in Kimberton, PA have faced delays and
problems.

A paragraph from the New York Times article stood out to me: “Model
co-housing tends to be grass-roots: First the group meets to explore its
wants and needs, then it finds an architect who designs a community just
right for them, and finally it builds. From the time a group of would-be
co-housers forms to the time it moves in, two to five years can pass. The
idea for Eastern Village, on the other hand, came from a developer.”

Came from a developer, yet the people who live there are grateful to have
the cohousing option.

Altair has been trying . . . not for two or five years, but for twenty
years.

I still feel that you treat the “future residents must design it” idea as a
dogma. Let’s take Altair (which I worked with for two years): It will be 30
units. Ten or fifteen of the ultimate 30 households will have participated
in the design charrettes. Fifteen or 20 will move into a cohousing
community they did not design. It’s a 55+ project. After twenty years only
two of the people or households will have participated in the design
charrettes. The other 28 will be grateful that the community got built.

I wish a cohousing developer would “Get It Built” here in New Jersey and
finally give me a chance to live in cohousing.

Regards, as always,

Steve Welzer
East Windsor, NJ

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