Re: Developer Model of Co-housing
From: Emilie Parker (
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2015 09:23:52 -0700 (PDT)
On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:09 PM, Kathryn McCamant <
kmccamant [at]> wrote:


I apologize for picking up on a topic that is an offshoot of the initial
developer topic question.  My quandary is the land, and you address that in
your post from a few days ago.  Your comments as a experienced developer of
cohousing meant a lot to me.  You say many cohousing communities​

came together
> ​ ​
> because someone took the initiative to tie up a specific property that
> allowed the community to organize a
> ​​
> round it.

​Our community which is currently 10 people (8 households) after 2 years
and we seem to be at a standstill on the land -- while we try to grow our
group, figure out​ how much money we have for land in our group, find land,
and build our community spirit.

We had 50 people in our group when we were organizing around a property
owned by the County.  We decided to give up on it.  That group had not each
made a substantial financial contribution (only $50) and very few helped,
participated in any way, or came to meetings.  When we scheduled the GIB
workshop and people saw that they would have to come up with money, 90%
didn't continue.  We have about 5 of that group left.  Now we have more --
10 wonderful people who have all paid the $475 for the GIB and they really
show up and volunteer -- setting up meetings, keeping books, marketing.
They are committed to making it happen.  It's awesome.  But we have no land
and so far a bank account of about $35,000 from our group -- not enough to
buy most of the land we have been looking at close to our jobs.  One of our
problems is we fell in love with a piece of land that we've been unable to
get a contract on.  It's expensive and they want cash and a short closing.
So far, not happening.  We've been unable to meet the terms the owner wants.

I think our strategy will be to see how much our members have to invest in
the land at the next meeting and then just find some that is not our ideal
but we can get it for the money we have.

I really appreciate your comments, Katie, about often losing committed
members once the land is secured.  Losing people is frightening but may be
inevitable and losing members is not the undoing of the vision. I think you
are saying the undoing of the vision for a cohousing community is more
likely to be not getting land.  Putting a piece of land under contract
allows a community to organize themselves around it.

That's going to be my mantra.

Emilie Parker
emilie.v.parker [at]
303-317-4558 main
240-350-8533 cell

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the discomforts, and the conflicts of discovery."
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