Re: Guest rooms? / Common House access?
From: Kay Argyle (
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 15:26:07 -0700 (MST)
> 1. how many [guest rooms] do you have [in your Common House,]
> and how often are they actually used, say over a year's time?

At Wasatch Commons, we have two guest rooms plus a loft for overflow.  I
would estimate there are guests in the common house less than half the time,
but maybe as much as a quarter of the time.

The first year or so the rooms were used so little that the larger
downstairs room got co-opted for the exercise equipment.  After a while we
had enough groups who wanted to use the common house to meet (a men's group,
a yoga class, neighborhood organizations etc.) that we started having
scheduling conflicts, and the downstairs room became "the classroom."

This year a futon sofa-bed went back into it for a guest who couldn't climb
stairs.  At one point, not only were both guest rooms and the loft in use,
but people were in sleeping bags in the sitting room as well.

One month several different households will be juggling arrival and
departure dates and borrowing someplace to tuck a guest for one night until
someone else's guests leave, then there will be no one for two months.

Each year, one resident has okayed with the community to bring in a half
dozen college kids doing volunteer service projects during spring break.
Typically they have helped us with a project of our own in return for a free
place to stay for the week.

> 2.  How do you handle the availability of the Common House for your
> community?

The common house is supposed to be kept locked except when multiple people
are there (meetings,
meals, etc.).  In practice, it's not unusual for it to be unlocked but empty
during the day. One person is responsible for nightly lock-up -- the job
rotates monthly.

The mailboxes are in an airlock entry.  After a few occasions when the
lock-up person didn't get back to unlock it early enough (for some reason
the mail carrier refuses to deliver the mail if he can't get in ...), a
compromise was worked out -- the inner door gets locked, the outer door is
left unlocked.

Guests may be loaned a common house key.  Teens are permitted to borrow a
c.h. key.  Pre-teens must have adult supervision.

Originally all common areas were on the same key, which all adult residents
had a copy of.  After about a year, the Management Committee decided that
insurance, community financial records, etc. needed better security, and
rekeyed a storage room (mostly because etc. includes personal information of
the low-income residents, for tax reasons).  Only a few people have that

This past summer the c.h. office and the workshop were also rekeyed
(following some ruffled feathers about holes dug in the wild space and porno
sites in the office computer history).  That key was distributed to adult
residents, but kids and guests are not to have access unless accompanied.


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