Re: Do cohousers care about "bricks and sticks"?
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 10:01:00 -0700 (MST)
I think it's a false comparison to talk of people buying into an existing
community being the same thing as only letting in members who are short of
cash at the very end of development. If these are people who could have been
participating all along, and they have been kept from that because they
haven't got enough money, it is a different dynamic entirely.

All kinds of decisions get made that affect the outcome of a community. What
values will the community share? Is a hot tub important? Is getting low
income financing important? Do we allow people to smoke on their balconies?

Every decision made about the values of communities beforehand will be
influenced by the demographic of the group that makes it. If it is a group
of people who have the cash, and the timeline will be delayed by getting
financing for lower-income members, it is far more likely that the lower
income financing will never become a reality. You have only to look at what
has been built to date to see that this is true.

I have lost count of the number of new groups who have started out on this
list saying, "we want income diversity" who end up with none.

The truth is, people talk a good game about being committed to getting
income diversity. But if there is no-one there without the cash, you're full
of it.

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California
tamgoddess [at]

> From: jnpalme [at] (Racheli Gai)
> In <LPBBLHKKBOKJBHOFMFDPOECADHAA.floriferous [at]>, on 11/19/2002
> at 09:11 PM, "Rob Sandelin" <floriferous [at]> said:
>> Elizabeth Stevenson said:
>> And you're setting up a two tiered social system
>> if you only let the people with less income in AFTER you have made all
>> the decisions about the community and how it will be first.
>> I don't agree that this is necessarily the outcome. What you are doing in
>> this hypothetical case is letting people who have the money determine how
>> the BRICKS AND STICKS of the community will be designed. This is not
>> really a problem for almost anybody that has any sense. Who really cares
>> about that stuff? --
> This is a huge, and IMO false generalization.  I care about "bricks and
> sticks",
> and so do many cohousers.  In fact, anyone who cares about environmental
> issues should.
> Racheli 
> Sonora Cohousing, Tucson (where I've lived for over two years,
> and never had to turn on the heater, because the "bricks and sticks"
> had been situated they way they should).

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