Re: site & plans = less interest in associate status
From: Joelyn Malone (
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2009 09:13:40 -0700 (PDT)
Here at Monterey Cohousing (MN) we've been at this business of living together for 16 years now, but still haven't solved the issue of new residents not seeming to be as "invested" in the community aspect of cohousing as some of us who helped create the place. One theory is that the new folks somehow don't feel as empowered to have influence and make changes they see as necessary. This in spite of the fact that we've tried to structure our meetings and processes to provide that empowerment; especially the message "your concerns are as valid as anyone's" and "if you don't like something, bring it up and take it through the process we use to make changes" - rather than just complaining about it to the other new people". We are thinking of implementing something we've seen in the membership process of new groups who haven't yet moved in, which is a pledge to honor our vision statement and actively participate in various activities (work requirements, meal program) even though we know we can't legally "require" this of new buyers. Have others used this mechanism, and has it been effective? I think we can't make it binding, but at least it would bring our expectations to the potential future owner in a way they would need to actively accept the expected responsibilities (by signing the pledge) or actively choose not to do so, whereby we would at least know where we stand with that owner if they do buy in.

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