Re: housing options- diverse can work
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 00:24:43 -0700 (MST)
I can't tell you what the impact of diverse housing is on the development 
aspect of the project. I'm sure others will address that. But I can 
address the "psychological" part.

I can reassure you that diverse levels of size or fanciness or style 
don't need to have any effect at all on community. At RoseWind we are 
about as diverse as you can get, being a lot development model. Some of 
us live in 800 sq feet, and others in 3000 sq feet. (At Sharingwood, 
another lot development model, one fellow lives in a 10x10 ft cabin, 
among big fancy houses.)  Some have cedar siding, some plywood; some have 
oak floors, some cement, some have gargoyles and carvings and wild 
fantasy bits, and others are stark plain. A dome lives next to a stucco, 
to a stick-frame, to a strawbale. Doesn't make any difference in how we 
treat each other. We respect each other's choices. 

Another way our diverse housing works, is that those of us with larger 
houses can host gatherings, or guests --- and my basement seems to be a 
magnet for people's bulky computer-shipping boxes!

So it seems the question is, is there a simple way to move the burden of 
extra time and money to the person for whom additional features are worth 
it? If they pay for the difference, what difference should it make to the 
others? Visual variety is pleasant for everybody. Variety of house sizes 
and types also increases the breadth of market for eventual resales--- 
some people will only buy something small and simple, and others will 
only buy larger or fancier. Communities also sometimes experience 
eventual swapping around among members -- after some years, some families 
shrink, others grow, but people still want to stay in the community. 
Different size units are useful that way.

Good luck-
Lynn Nadeau
RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend
(We may be "slo-track" but the drywall is going up in the common house, 
and our last two lots are about to be bought! ) 

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