Re: Developmental Stages of Cohousing
From: Dane Laverty (
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 22:42:18 -0700 (PDT)
Thomas Lofft said:

> Community Renewal: How long has it been since you've been to a good old
> fashioned 'Revival'?
> Not a religious revival, but a cohousing revival, like is offered every year 
> at
> the CoHoUS conference?

I'm don't have much experience with cohousing yet, but I have a lot of
experience with religion. Perhaps a "religious revival" -- or at least
the principles of a religious revival -- might be appropriate.

In my experience, three attributes common to vital, vibrant religions are:

1. A clear set of rules and expectations (religions like to call them
"commandments", but I think "rules" works just as well).
2. A clearly envisioned goal that motivates people to action.
3. A spirit of outreach that is focused not just on touching those in
the community, but spreading the message to those outside the
community as well.

This conversation has touched on the importance of #1 already. It
creates strife and disappointment when people realize that not
everyone in the community is playing by the same rules.

I'd be interested to learn more about the "#2" of your communities. Do
most cohousing communities have some sort of mission statement?
Something that clearly says, "Here's what we're trying to achieve and
this is why we're trying to achieve it"?

#3 is the place where I would guess that many communities lose their
initial verve. I like Michael's statement, "...without constant
pumping of the community (social) well, cohousing degenerates into
conventional American society." My understanding is that cohousing
communities are generally built around a fixed number of homes. That
means that there's an "outreach" push at the start in order to fill
the homes. However, once the homes are filled, the need for
evangelizing (I apologize if that's an off-putting or offensive term,
but I think it's a useful term) disappears. Are there cohousing
communities that are constantly working to increase in size by
building and filling new developments?

Dane Laverty

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.