Re: How do we hold each other accountable?
From: David L. Mandel (
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2010 12:25:29 -0700 (PDT)
No matter how you spin it -- penalty, fee, refund, consequence ... -- there's a 
problem with the "work or pay" model if you aspire to have a community that's 
seriously diverse in members' economic means. If I have a demanding but highly 
paid job, I may rationally decide that my time is more valuable than my money 
and therefore choose to pay, or not get the refund, or whatever, while letting 
others do the work. My low-paid neighbor may have job and/or family 
responsibilities that are at least as demanding, meanwhile, but she doesn't 
really have that choice if she needs every $ for necessities. Forget the word 
"fair." Is that the kind of dynamic you want in your community? Like everyone 
else, we have had great difficulties finding ways to get the work done without 
resentments. But while it has been proposed, we have so far refrained from 
institutionalizing "work or pay."
Southside Park, Sacramento.

--- On Sun, 7/25/10, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> wrote:

From: Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ How do we hold each other accountable?
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Date: Sunday, July 25, 2010, 9:17 AM

On Jul 25, 2010, at 11:33 AM, Elizabeth Magill wrote:

> I've heard of having a fee everyone pays, and that fee is refunded if
> they do a certain amount of work. That makes  sense to me.

I like this best -- its impersonal and equally applied.

A resident has to actively engage in order to be reimbursed. I also  
think this amount added to the condo fee would be good so it doesn't  
have to be collected as a separate fee. It's automatic.

And with a time limit for refunds.

Everyone pays. Passive, no refund. Active, refund.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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