Re: affordability
From: Gale Greenleaf (
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 13:47:01 -0600 (MDT)
I replied directly to the questioner, but here's the beef: there's a
master's thesis at the University of Texas that surveyed a group of Habitat
for Humanity folks and a work-in-progress coho group in Austin around 1994.
The conclusion seemed to be that for most really low-income folks the idea
of living in a group, going to meetings, having to make decisions with other
people, and all the other mechanisms of cohousing were kind of appalling -
the exact opposite of what they wanted. The coho group had pretty much
already gone through the white-picket-fence-separate-house stage. They saw
that model as wasteful, lonely, inefficient etc. while the Habitat folks saw
it as independent, freeing, and a step up.

There's much more - if anyone's interested, I would imagine inter-library
lending could snag the thesis for a read. But besides the physical
difficulty of making cohousing "affordable," there is this other element to
consider - who wants to live in cohousing and why? Why would someone who has
always lived in small, crowded, cheek-by-jowl situations be interested in
what they might see as more of the same?

Can't wait to read the upcoming furor...I'm sure y'all will set me straight.

Gale Greenleaf
lurker in the throes of academia

----- Original Message -----
From: <cohousing-l-request [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 12:01 PM
Subject: Cohousing-L digest, Vol 1 #34 - 3 msgs

> Send Cohousing-L mailing list submissions to
> cohousing-l [at]
> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
> cohousing-l-request [at]
> You can reach the person managing the list at
> cohousing-l-admin [at]
> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> than "Re: Contents of Cohousing-L digest..."
> Today's Topics:
>    1. Re: Rob  Sandelin looking for a CA crash pad for conference (Raines
>    2. affordable cohousing and community land trusts (amanda huron)
>    3. Affordable cohousing (Sharon Villines)
> --__--__--
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 17:25:37 -0700
> From: Raines Cohen <raines-coho-L [at]>
> To: <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_Re: Rob  Sandelin looking for a CA crash pad for conference
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> Rob Sandelin wrote on 4/1/01 10:01 AM:
> >If I can rearrange  my
> >schedule, and find a place to stay, I'd like to do the Conference this
> >Is there a cohousing group in the area that can host me? I can bring my
> >mattress and sleeping pad, just need a space to lay my head, although I
> >such a smoozer I often don't get to bed til pretty late.
> We're trying to find guest spaces in nearby communities for TCN board
> members (who are arriving a couple of days before the conference for
> meetings). I know that I would love to get pledges to help pay for a
> dorm-room spot ($150 would do it, if he's willing) for Rob so that we can
> all pick his brain into the late hours in the dorm lounges (ideal for
> Birds-of-a-Feather gatherings), in addition to tapping his wisdom in the
> conference sessions. Anybody care to join me?
> Raines
> Raines Cohen <coho-L [at]> <>
> On his way to the St. Stupid's Day parade in San Francisco!
>   Vice President, Swan's Market Cohousing [Old Oakland, CA]
> Celebrating one year of living in community!
>   Member, East Bay Cohousing [no site yet] <>
> Excited about the prospect of new energy in the group.
>   Boardmember, The Cohousing Network <>
> Hosting the North American Cohousing Conference, July 20-22, Berkeley.
> --__--__--
> Message: 2
> From: "amanda huron" <amandahuron [at]>
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 21:16:40 -0400
> Subject: [C-L]_affordable cohousing and community land trusts
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> Hello, my name is Amanda Huron and I am a masters student in urban
>   I am researching how cohousing can be developed in a way that is
> affordable to lower-income people.  Specifically, I am working with a
> non-profit housing develpment corporation that is interested in developing
> cohousing as part of their community land trust.  What have folks out
> done to try to make their cohousing communities affordable to a wide range
> of incomes?  Have you worked with city agencies or non-profits?  Does
> have experience in developing cohousing on a community land trust?
> Please e-mail me directly, at huron [at]  I greatly appreciate any
> assistance.
> Thanks,
> Amanda
> _________________________________________________________________
> Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
> --__--__--
> Message: 3
> Date: Tue, 03 Apr 2001 09:14:40 -0400
> From: Sharon Villines <sharonvillines [at]>
> To: <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_Affordable cohousing
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> > What have folks out there
> > done to try to make their cohousing communities affordable to a wide
> > of incomes?  Have you worked with city agencies or non-profits?
> After a few weeks of marathon meetings and emails and calls to maintenance
> people, I'm not sure that cohousing can ever be "affordable" because it
> takes so much time.
> I'm sure it gets better once patterns are established but property
> maintenance is a bitch. Then you add people maintenance on top of that.
> dream maintenance. Then two kitchens, two living rooms, ....
> You really have to want to do this. Which means the group members
> have to make the project affordable. It isn't something an outside entity
> can do. The decisions and the time invested have to come from individual
> members of the group, functioning as individuals and as a group.
> It takes a lot of time and a lot of learning. Everything has to be
> researched -- seen in order to be believed.
> Sharon
> --
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
> Which is in the 5th month of sort of moved in and hasn't figured out how
> both work full time to pay the mortgage _and_ keep the commonhouse clean
> the trash people to put the dumpster in the right place or the electrician
> to show up as scheduled to put in the big kitchen dishwasher or the green
> drain somewhere other than the townhouse basements. There aren't even
> hours in the day for all the teams to meet much less time to make any
> decisions.
> --__--__--
> _______________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list
> Cohousing-L [at]
> End of Cohousing-L Digest

Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.