Re: How Cohousing communities decide on new members
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 10:16:54 -0700 (PDT)
Jim — congrats to you and your group on reaching this milestone in your group’s 
time line.  So sweet!

I don’t know what your legal structure is at this point — are you a 
partnership?  Have you started selling units? Taking contracts?  This will be 
of great importance.  You talk about choosing members.  Membership in what?

Depending on what you are choosing people for there could be Fair Housing laws 
at play.  

Regardless of FH laws I would be skeptical of trying to social engineer 
diversity.  From my experience here at Takoma Village in Washington, DC, a city 
that is 55% non white, I believe the most important thing to do is to create a 
welcoming community for everyone.  And, to remove the barriers of inclusion 
which often are our own misunderstandings of what the real issues are for 
people of color.  Or for anyone.  What’s the hesitation on the part of those 
seeking your community?

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Ex. Dir. & MemberBoard of Directors
Mid Atlantic Cohousing
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

When Isaac Newton stayed at home to avoid the 1665 Plague, he discovered the 
Laws of Gravity, Optics, and he invented Calculus.

NOTE: I am switching back to: zabaldo [at]  Many apologies!  

> On Apr 14, 2021, at 12:23 PM, Jim Bronson <jimbronsonashland [at]> 
> wrote:
> River Song Cohousing Community in Eugene, Or is passing the 3/4 point in
> membership prior to locking in our construction loan (ground blessing
> scheduled for May 9th).  At this point we have attracted a nice group of
> explorers and are confident about our construction loan.  Looking forward
> we would like to see more diversity in our community rather than choosing
> members on a first come first serve basis.  We are contemplating possible
> ways to modify our system so we are selecting from a pool of candidates. It
> would help us to hear from cohousing communities about any application and
> interview or other processes you have used to enhance diversity.  Thanks
> for this helpful listserv.
> Jim Bronson
> Design Team for River Song Cohousing
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