Re: Alexandria VA wants to group cohousing with Boarding houses - please speak up
From: Chris Roth - Communities Editor (editorgen-us.net)
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2021 07:00:12 -0700 (PDT)
A note of explanation/apology: I subscribe to the daily digest, and was responding to Becca-Person's message on that. I just went online to the current state of the messages (which I only very rarely do)--and noticed a subsequent message from Ann Zabaldo (written yesterday), which for some reason did not make it into the digest I received at 6 am this morning. It seems unfortunate that the digest doesn't include the latest messages, because if I'd seen Ann's message (discouraging anyone from contacting Alexa) before following my impulse to respond to Becca-Person's message, I would have refrained from writing or sending the message to Alexa. Now, having read Ann's message from yesterday in the archives, it seems like a bad idea to have written Alexa. Is there any way to program the digest so it includes up-to-date posts? Otherwise, this kind of thing may easily happen again, for those who rely on the digests and don't carefully double-check vs. the online archive each time.

Thanks!

Chris

On 4/9/2021 8:59 AM, Chris Roth - Communities Editor wrote:

Here's a letter I just sent to alexa.powell [at] alexandriava.gov, the contact listed at the bottom of the page linked in Becca-Person's message:

Hi Alexa,

Thank you for this initiative. I fully appreciate what you are trying to accomplish and promote here. And...

As you have probably heard from others by now, Cohousing is a well-established term with national and international recognition and quite a number of published books, as well as a national association (Cohousing Assocation of the United States) and other groups associated with it--and what you are describing here is NOT what this established word means. I applaud what you are promoting here and these kinds of housing initiatives, but I hope you will find another name for it, as your using this term seems likely to create confusion as well as possibly even animosity/opposition from those who would like to see this term used correctly to represent a movement/form of community that they care about. I edit a magazine <https://www.gen-us.net/communities/> about intentional communities and other forms of cooperative culture that frequently features cohousing projects (according to the accepted definition--see www.cohousing.org <https://www.cohousing.org/>--a combination of private homes with spaces held in common, in a cooperatively governed intentional community) and we are very careful to use this term correctly, in its intended meaning. "Shared housing" would be a much more accurate term, without a specific other meaning, for what you are describing, and I urge you to consider using it, or some other term that accurately describes what you are promoting without already having an accepted, different meaning.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like me to connect you with any further resources related to anything I've written about.

Thank you!

Chris Roth

--
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Editor, Communities
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On 4/9/2021 6:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] cohousing.org wrote:
Message: 1
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2021 10:31:01 -0500
From: Becca-Person Brackett<brackett3 [at] gmail.com>
To:cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org, Fred Olson<fholson [at] cohousing.org>
Subject: [C-L]_ Alexandria VA wants to group cohousing with Boarding
        houses - please speak up
Message-ID:
        <CA+D2w7f0FqofJOThW7jJFkHNowuvJqC_Qv5jp3+veWfnOeVLxw [at] 
mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"

My Google alert on the word "Cohousing" keeps turning up misuse of the term.
Maybe it's a losing battle,  but I would urge anyone in the state of
Virginia  or cohousers in the DC area to send the word to the City Council
of Alexandria that cohousing is NOT boarding houses and renting out extra
bedrooms!

https://www.alexandriava.gov/planning/info/default.aspx?id=120969

They are planning regulations to encourage co-living and allow more
density, make more affordable housing, and those are wonderful goals-  but
the cohousing community needs to tell them DON'T CALL IT COHOUSING.
I like to refer officials and journalist to the wikipedia page
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing
and especially the first sentence:
" *Cohousing*[1]<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing#cite_note-1>  is
an intentional community
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_community>  of private homes
clustered around shared space. The term originated in Denmark
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark>  in late 1960s.[2]
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing#cite_note-2>  Each attached or
single family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen."

If we don't speak up, the misinformation will continue - damaging the image
of true cohousing projects.
Cohousing  home purchasers should be able to benefit from any govt program
that assists in making home ownership more affordable.
How is Alexandria addressing that need?

I will keep on the alert!
Becca Brackett

--
Chris Roth
Editor, Communities
81868 Lost Valley Lane
Dexter, OR 97431
editor [at] gen-us.net
541-937-5221
gen-us.net/communities

for Communities advertising,
please contact Joyce Bressler:
ads [at] gen-us.net
845-558-4492

for photos and layout,
please contact Yulia Zarubina:
layout [at] gen-us.net
910-617-6136

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