Re: Chances of Finding Members with Children
From: Diana Carroll (
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2021 06:15:49 -0700 (PDT)
I think this whole calculation of odds as if it’s random is silly. If you
really REALLY want to do that, you need to do a much more thorough job.
Like eliminate everyone living in senior housing because they CAN’T bring
children, thereby increasing the odds of other housing having children.
Similarly dormitories, nursing homes and the International Space Station.
Then eliminate people whose income puts cohousing out of reach. Are those
people more or less likely to have children? What about geography, are
people in all areas equally likely to have children? (Hint: no)

This idea of predicting the presence of children based on age populations
alone is like calculating the odds of my seeing a penguin today based on
the number of penguins in the world rather than how close I live to

Mosaic Commons had a huge number of children. Why? Because our founders
literally connected through their children going to the same school, and a
huge proportion of the initial marketing was word of mouth through parent
groups. Five of our homes sold to families from the same play group. Your
population statistics were irrelevant because group formation wasn’t

On Sun, Apr 18, 2021 at 8:57 AM Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>

> On Apr 17, 2021, at 10:00 PM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]>
> wrote:
> >
> > You think households with children choose where to live randomly?
> I think cohousers shouldn’t set goals that are unrealistic and then beat
> themselves up because they don’t reach them. “Since the beginning”
> communities have wanted more children and worried about it through out the
> whole development phase. Needing to sell the last 1-2 units but also
> wanting to save them for households with children presents a dilemma that
> is rarely resolved in the direction of leaving the unit unsold until some
> children come along.
> I don’t think households with children choose where to live any more
> randomly than others. But if there are so few out there it doesn’t matter
> how they choose. In 2019 there were 122.8 million households in the US.
> What percentage of those want to live in cohousing?
> Katie estimated a few weeks ago that there are now 160 cohousing
> communities (which may include Canada). If each community has an average of
> 30 homes, that is ~ 4,800 households — .000039 %. A rather small fraction.
> I think the reach of cohousing is much greater than that, bringing
> revolutionary change to conventional condos, but that isn’t bringing
> children to cohousing in greater than average numbers. There doesn’t seem
> to be a pent up demand out there -- families with children waiting to move
> into cohousing if it means moving or organizing communities themselves.
> Senior cohousing is the fastest growing cohousing segment and children are
> not allowed.
> What happened at Takoma Village is that we only had 3 children when we
> moved in though that quickly became 6 as soon as the last unit was sold,
> but within 2 years we had ~20 because people adopted children or gave birth
> to babies they had been delaying having until they moved in. Then we had a
> dry period as those grew up or households moved because of the schools. Now
> we have 8 of 43 households with children. The same percentage as households
> generally.
> Cohousing as a happy place for kids is a wonderful image but it is largely
> a happy place for adults, heavy on the over 55 crowd.
> (All numbers estimates and may contain errors. Please use caution.)
> Sharon
> ———
> Sharon Villines
> affordablecohousing [at]

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