The Future of Cohousing
From: Zev Paiss (
Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 04:55:01 -0700 (PDT)

I think the situation with the upcoming conference and the hotel strike are distractions to a much graver situation. At this moment in history, despite the growing deep desire to create community across our nation, the reality of economic contraction, high unemployment, falling home prices, and a huge inventory of for sale homes, makes the prospect of building new cohousing neighborhoods at this time extremely challenging.

I suspect the hesitancy to attend the conference stems from the inability of many to fathom how they can spend $1,000 for registration, lodging and transportation when they know the equity in their homes (if you are still a homeowner) will not allow them to sell and purchase a new home in a not-yet-build cohousing community. When I can go buy a perfectly good home in Florida for $25,000 how am I going to convince others to pay 10 times that amount to purchase a new home?

As I have been saying for over 2 years now, please consider adaptive reuse or banding together to purchase a neighborhood of abandoned homes and start the long conversion process in our failing communities. Cohousing has much to offer but we must steps outside our traditional model of new construction and look at the possibilities of conversion, increasingly collaborative design (think foreclosed McMansions), and rental communities as one future for this movement.

Respectfully Submitted,

Zev Paiss, Founding Executive Director
The Cohousing Association 1997-2001

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