Re: Developmental Stages of Cohousing
From: Wayne Tyson (
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2011 05:09:42 -0700 (PDT)
Re: Quoting Dowds:

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "R Philip Dowds" <rpdowds [at]>
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Saturday, August 13, 2011 10:16 AM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Developmental Stages of Cohousing

[clip--please refer to Dowd's post and follow the thread backward for context. 
I apologize for any confusion, but I am attempting to interpret the list 
owner's requirements for avoiding "excessive quoting."]

"So actually, this was a somewhat more favorable report than I was expecting:  
I would say that our continuing participation rate, after 10 years with the 
usual turnover, is not so bad.  Statistically, we seem OK, but going beyond the 
stats, there are still some problems, at least as perceived by me ....

"UNRESOLVED INTERPERSONALS:  Some households refuse to engage with others 
because of unresolved interpersonal tension.  Yes, there's pretty good 
participation, but on specific issues or for specific Committees, there 
continues to be quite a divide in that participation.  Backchannel 
manipulations often substitute for candor in open meetings.  Well, so what else 
is new?  I guess I want to believe cohousing is better than your father's condo 
COMMITMENT TO THE STATUS QUO:  Despite credibly (?) high participation rates, 
the outcome of participation is often the status quo:  Do nothing, change 
nothing is the final conclusion of much of our dialogue.  Clearly, the founders 
think things are pretty much fine the way they are, and new ideas or critiques 
are regarded as disruptive.  The creative energy that necessarily characterizes 
the invention of a cohousing community readily degrades into a defensive 
posture adopted by successful creators.  This ties back to ...
CLIQUES:  Don't mean to be grouchy, but I must say that my cohousing community 
has turned out to be the worst example of in-group / out-group syndrome that 
I've encountered since high school.

"In other words: Participation quantity is more or less OK; participation 
quality needs some work."

"R Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Cohousing
Cambridge, MA"


I would be most interested to hear from Dowds and as many others who are 
willing to share, how typical Dowds' findings are of other cohousing groups, 
and if there are significant exceptions, in what way they are different, and 


Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.