Re: NPR Morning Edition 2-16-15: Europe Experiments with Cohousing
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 04:18:35 -0800 (PST)
RPD --

It's incredibly important that you write this in the NPR comments. Many people 
who don't know about cohousing Will hear this piece on NPR and go away with the 
wrong impression of cohousing. That's why the comments are so important.

And, every opportunity to get the word out there is a great marketing 
opportunity. The more people who comment show that we have a vibrant, Active 
movement in this country.  

I will make my comments after I get to my computer later this morning. I hope 
all of you will take a moment to do this as well. It's a short, painless way 
individuals can contribute to the conversation about cohousing on a national 
level. WOW. Let's do it!

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 16, 2015, at 6:16 AM, R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]> wrote:
> Don’t mean to be negative … But I am not convinced this article is all that 
> helpful to the cohousing cause.  It makes cohousing sound like a poverty 
> mitigation program, not like intentional community for the mainstream.
> Europe in general is more comfortable than America with group living and 
> congregate care as a way of reducing housing and service costs for the 
> elderly, disabled, disadvantaged, and poor.  This particular project, while 
> clearly of merit, is much in that same tradition.
> But the American cohousing movement is more for mainstream households that 
> want to experiment with intentional community in groups of about 30 to 60 
> adults.  As I’ve argued elsewhere, there is no reason to expect cohousing to 
> be “cheaper” than regular housing.  Households figure out what they can 
> afford to pay for housing, and this number is not particularly elastic.  If 
> they can spend $30K a year on housing, most will buy the biggest privatized 
> unit they can get.  But a few will instead use that same amount for a 
> cohousing investment — which means, smaller private unit, more common space, 
> and a much different lifestyle.  Founder / developers of cohousing are often 
> idealistic, and want to offer affordability for a diverse range of incomes, 
> but this is not anywhere near “cheap”.
> Overall, I think the Valencia story will put off some, and mislead others.  
> I’m not sorry the project is happening, and there is no need to refute it.  
> But I don’t think it’s much use to CohoUS.
> Unless, of course, we want to go further than is customary for cohos in 
> “trading and sharing space and resources”, as a means of living economically. 
>  This might be a good topic for this list.
>> On Feb 16, 2015, at 5:48 AM, Alice Alexander <alicecohous [at]> 
>> wrote:
>> Please comment on this NPR story profiling cohousing in England and Spain:
>> The online story has more depth than the audio I heard. Audio will be
>> available online at 9:00 am eastern.
>> Many thanks!
>> -- 
>> Alice Alexander
>> Executive Director
>> <>
>> [image: The Cohousing Association]
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