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Bob Banner: Chemtrails in the Sky in San Luis Obispo - Noozhawk

Cohousing News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 22:07

Noozhawk

Bob Banner: Chemtrails in the Sky in San Luis Obispo
Noozhawk
Eco-communities were fringe and now more and more people are aware of them and actually we have in this county two cohousing communities that have emerged decades ago and are doing quite well. Permaculture was at one time fringe and now very ...

Categories: News

I nuovi progetti di cohousing passano attraverso la Rete - Il Sole 24 Ore

Cohousing News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 14:02

Il Sole 24 Ore

I nuovi progetti di cohousing passano attraverso la Rete
Il Sole 24 Ore
«Non esiste un modello predefinito di cohousing, perché sono diversi i fattori in gioco: i desideri dei cohouser, la collocazione del complesso in un contesto rurale o urbano, la tipologia di intervento edilizio: nuova costruzione o ristrutturazione ...

Categories: News

Chemtrails in San Luis Obispo - Santa Barbara Edhat

Cohousing News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:13

Santa Barbara Edhat

Chemtrails in San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara Edhat
Eco-communities were fringe and now more and more people are aware of them and actually we have in this county two cohousing communities that have emerged decades ago and are doing quite well. Permaculture was at one time fringe and now very ...

and more »
Categories: News

Planning Boulder's Future - The Daily Camera

Cohousing News - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 01:59

Planning Boulder's Future
The Daily Camera
micro-units in multifamily developments, accessory units on existing lots, and boarding houses and cohousing all have some capacity for addressing in-commuter and workforce housing needs. Transit improvement is attainable with the new Bus Rapid Transit ...

Categories: News

Developing Story: Vancouver's first cohousing project waits for final permits - Vancouver Courier

Cohousing News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 15:38

Developing Story: Vancouver's first cohousing project waits for final permits
Vancouver Courier
The process was held up due to the cohousing covenant that will be placed on the title. The covenant creates requirements for the owners and residents to function as a cohousing community such as maintaining common space at a percentage approved by ...

Categories: News

Planning Boulder's Future - The Daily Camera

Cohousing News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 13:44

Planning Boulder's Future
The Daily Camera
micro-units in multifamily developments, accessory units on existing lots, and boarding houses and cohousing all have some capacity for addressing in-commuter and workforce housing needs. Transit improvement is attainable with the new Bus Rapid Transit ...

and more »
Categories: News

PG&E and East Bay cities at standoff over plan to chop down thousands of trees - San Jose Mercury News

Cohousing News - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 08:58

PG&E and East Bay cities at standoff over plan to chop down thousands of trees
San Jose Mercury News
A majestic Siberian elm towers over the entrance to the Pleasant Hill Cohousing community tucked at the end of Lisa Lane. The elm is one tree among a dense swath of mature oaks, redwoods, walnuts and shrubs separating the 32-unit development from the ...

Categories: News

Cohousing, apre il cantiere per la prima palazzina - Gazzetta di Modena

Cohousing News - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 21:01

Cohousing, apre il cantiere per la prima palazzina
Gazzetta di Modena
Sarà la cooperativa Modena Casa a realizzare in via Divisione Acqui la prima casa in città costruita secondo i principi del “cohousing”, un modo di abitare caratterizzato dalla condivisione di spazi e servizi tra persone della stessa comunità residenziale.

Categories: News

PG&E and East Bay cities at standoff over plan to chop down thousands of trees - San Jose Mercury News

Cohousing News - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 20:06

PG&E and East Bay cities at standoff over plan to chop down thousands of trees
San Jose Mercury News
A majestic Siberian elm towers over the entrance to the Pleasant Hill Cohousing community tucked at the end of Lisa Lane. The elm is one tree among a dense swath of mature oaks, redwoods, walnuts and shrubs separating the 32-unit development from the ...

and more »
Categories: News

Новітні комуни "CoHousing" стануть предметом обговорення у Львові - Львівські новини

Cohousing News - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 16:40

Новітні комуни "CoHousing" стануть предметом обговорення у Львові
Львівські новини
У львівській книгарні "Є" в середу відбудеться лекція про нові види комун “CoHousing: чому варто жити й господарювати разом?”. Початок – о 18.00. Лекція про Intentional Communities – навмисні (свідомі) спільноти, їхні різновиди та особливості.

Categories: News

Cercasi persone per la creazione di un ecovillaggio/cohousing con parco ... - Il Cambiamento

Cohousing News - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 03:45

Cercasi persone per la creazione di un ecovillaggio/cohousing con parco ...
Il Cambiamento
Cerchiamo persone per la creazione di un ecovillaggio/cohousing con parco ecotecnologico. In albareto - appennino ligure, a 40 minuti da Levanto, all'interno della perimetrazione dell'oasi WWF dei Ghirardi ora SIC (sito di interesse comunitario).

Categories: News

Cohousing, assegnato il lotto in via Divisione Acqui - Modena 2000

Cohousing News - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 17:43

Cohousing, assegnato il lotto in via Divisione Acqui
Modena 2000
Sarà la Cooperativa edificatrice Modena Casa a realizzare in via Divisione Acqui la prima casa in città costruita secondo i principi del “cohousing”, un modo di abitare caratterizzato dalla condivisione di spazi e servizi tra persone della stessa ...

and more »
Categories: News

Cohousing, assegnato il lotto in via Divisione Acqui - Sassuolo 2000

Cohousing News - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 17:43

Cohousing, assegnato il lotto in via Divisione Acqui
Sassuolo 2000
Sarà la Cooperativa edificatrice Modena Casa a realizzare in via Divisione Acqui la prima casa in città costruita secondo i principi del “cohousing”, un modo di abitare caratterizzato dalla condivisione di spazi e servizi tra persone della stessa ...

Categories: News

Cohousing, assegnato il lotto di via Divisione Acqui - ModenaToday

Cohousing News - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 08:28

ModenaToday

Cohousing, assegnato il lotto di via Divisione Acqui
ModenaToday
Sarà la Cooperativa edificatrice Modena Casa a realizzare in via Divisione Acqui la prima casa in città costruita secondo i principi del “cohousing”, un modo di abitare caratterizzato dalla condivisione di spazi e servizi tra persone della stessa ...

and more »
Categories: News

PG&E and East Bay cities at standoff over plan to chop down thousands of trees - Contra Costa Times

Cohousing News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 19:20

PG&E and East Bay cities at standoff over plan to chop down thousands of trees
Contra Costa Times
A large Siberian elm tree stands tall at the entrance to Pleasant Hill Cohousing in Pleasant Hill, Calif., Thursday, April 10, 2014. Many of the trees on the grounds of Pleasant HIll Cohousing, including the elm, and along the nearby Iron Horse Trail ...

and more »
Categories: News

PG&E and East Bay cities at standoff over plan to chop down thousands of trees - Vallejo Times-Herald

Cohousing News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 19:17

PG&E and East Bay cities at standoff over plan to chop down thousands of trees
Vallejo Times-Herald
A majestic Siberian elm towers over the entrance to the Pleasant Hill Cohousing community tucked at the end of Lisa Lane. The elm is one tree among a dense swath of mature oaks, redwoods, walnuts and shrubs separating the 32-unit development from the ...

and more »
Categories: News

Eco-cohousing: cos'è e come funziona - UrbanPost

Cohousing News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:29

Eco-cohousing: cos'è e come funziona
UrbanPost
Capire facilmente cos'è il cohousing è pensare alle tipiche riunioni di condominio in cui i vicini si “prendono per i capelli” e sull'ascensore neppure si salutano, a volte per quisquilie. Ecco, tenendo ben a mente questa immagine, pensiamo esattamente ...

Categories: News

Spring Meetings Are in the Air

Laird's blog - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 22:45
I'm in Lawrence KS, where the FIC Board is gathering for our semi-annual organizational meetings, starting Friday and running through Sunday. We're being graciously hosted by Delaware St Cohousing, and the timing couldn't be better: our last snow shower of the winter (he wrote hopefully) blew through northeast Missouri Monday morning and now the temps are in the 60s and full of promise for the growing season ahead.

Just as the redbud, forsythia, and ornamental pears are all in full bloom here in eastern Kansas, so is our agenda. Here is what we have on tap for the long weekend:

o  Reviewing negotiations with the Ecovillage Network of the Americas about the possibility of FIC becoming the North American network for the Global Ecovillage Network. In addition to reviewing a proposal about that, FIC's Board will hold a joint conference call with the ENA Task Force looking into how best to proceed.

o  Discussing the 2014 budget and the cash flow squeeze we've been experiencing as a result of delays in completing a major overhaul of our websites, rewriting all our code in WordPress, to take advantage of a widely used language with more off-the-shelf plug-ins.

It's a double whammy in that we've used our reserve to fund the work, and are depending on its successful completion to replenish our coffers. Part of our willingness to make this gamble was that we have wonderful new products to offer that could not be delivered with our old website—in particular, downloadable PDFs of every issue of Communities magazine ever published, plus a completely revised set of themed reprint packets with 85% new content (also available as PDFs).

o  Developing roll out plans for reorganizing how we list groups in our online Communities Directory. Our intention is to sort all listings into four categories:

A. Established intentional communities
B. Forming intentional communities
C. Dead or unresponsive groups
D. Groups or projects that have an association with community yet are not intentional communities (this is something of a catchall, and might include networks, housing developments that emphasize a community quality, nonprofits that hold community as a core value, research projects that investigate aspects of community, etc)

We'll also be looking closely at: 1) the sort criteria that will determine which category a group is placed into (asking groups to self-select will not produce consistent results); and 2) how best to review our 1600+ listings to get them placed into the appropriate pen. It's a huge undertaking!

o  Balancing the need for general fundraising (which will relieve pressure on our strapped cash flow) with the concomitant need to raise money to replace our aging office facility at our Missouri headquarters.

o  Cooking up ways to attract more subscribers to Communities magazinethe source for ideas and inspiration about cooperative living.

o  Choosing the winner of the 2015 Kozeny Communitarian Award. As we have no shortage of qualified candidates, the anguish here is over whittling it down to only one.

o  Selecting new Board members (which will include a review of how we select Board members).

I'm telling you, there's no end to the fun we're going to have! And if we get done early of an evening, we can go for stroll and smell the freshly mown lawns (instead of the flip chart markers).
Categories: Long Form Blogs

Cohousing, un nuovo modo di abitare - Cose di Casa

Cohousing News - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 02:30

Cohousing, un nuovo modo di abitare
Cose di Casa
Il cohousing è un nuovo modo di abitare che si ispira ai vecchi tempi, quando le famiglie convivevano in comunità all'interno di cascine o corti. Già l'architetto svizzero Le Corbusier si era accorto dei vantaggi che offre la disponibilità di spazi e ...

Categories: News

The Opportunities and Challenges of Income-Sharing

Laird's blog - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 17:00
I recently had this exchange with a regular consumer of this blog who does not live in community, yet is intrigued by cooperative living:

My take on where you and I come from is that we are two moderates who happen to walk opposite sides of the street. What originally struck me about your posts, other than that they provide an insight into a different way of life, is how much of what you talked about applies to volunteer organizations, or any organization using cooperation as a means to get things done.

That’s intentional.

I think, though, that you have found a topic on which we disagree. I see very few advantages to income sharing and many disadvantages.

I’m happy to have this discussion, but I want you to understand that I’m not out to convince you that you should share income. If it doesn’t appeal to you, don’t do it!
 
1. If there is a large range of incomes, say an order of magnitude or more, those at the high end may feel they should have a proportionally larger say in how the money is spent. I happen to agree with this position. If these individuals had not joined they would have had complete control over their own income.

I reckon your argument here that decision-making power ought to be in proportion to market rate for the work one does for the group. To the extent that dollars buy votes I guess that makes sense, and there are certainly others who support this notion.

I have several concerns with this though (and I want you to take into account that these arguments are being advanced by someone who is making an order of magnitude more money than others in my income-sharing community—that is, I’m a living counterexample to your hypothetical):

o  The market place sets wages based on supply and demand, yet a great deal of domestic work is not monetized and therefore poorly reflected by wages.

o  In community (cooperative culture) we tend to value how things get done as much as what gets done. Navigating the "how” well requires relational skills, which don’t tend to be valued in the marketplace as strongly as technical skills. I shake my head, for example, when groups fork over thousands of dollars to architects yet balk at paying a process consultant a fraction of that amount—even though a skilled process consultant is rarer than a skilled architect and can more powerfully impact the community’s success. Knowing that compensation, at least to some extent, is based more on habit than value, I’m not inclined to equate worth with wages.

o  Having control over your own household budget living alone is not at all the same as having control over the household budget living in a group. While I’m out on the road as a consultant, things are being taken care of at home without my worrying about them. Yes, I turn over my paycheck, yet I have a mix of work I love and all my needs are met.

I have a friend who lives with his sweetheart in an apartment in Manhattan. He makes over $100,000 annually, yet used to live at Dancing Rabbit where he made about $15,000 annually. He did the math and calculated that he didn’t start getting ahead economically until he was making over $90,000—because of the difference in cost of living (rural Missouri versus urban NYC) and the difference through income sharing. That’s an incredible swing.

o  If decision-making were weighted based on income, it would mean focusing a lot of attention on wages, and who wants to live that way? One person, one voice is much simpler. (What's more, in consensus, the weights wouldn't make any sense anyway as you can't move forward in the presence of any principled objection—even one from a person who voice only counted one tenth as much.) If people with high wages had more say, and used that to prevail (rather than bringing others along through the strength of their reasoning, or their ability to balance everyone’s needs), they’d be resented for it, not celebrated.

o  That said, if a person’s money-making ability were germane to the consideration (as would be the case if a lawyer were giving their views about a legal opinion) then they’ll have all the power they need without claiming it on the basis of wage differential.

2. Sometimes it is just not fair. Let me give you an example I deal with every spring, when I volunteer about 40-50 hours/week to help people with their taxes. I come from a rural town of about 8,000 and we field four tax counselors. A nearby town of slightly less population, but wealthier, fields none. This season residents from the wealthier town overloaded us with so many clients that I do not expect to go back next year. My question is: At what point do you stop helping those who will not or cannot help themselves because they're taking advantage of the offer of assistance?

I have been part of several co-op organizations where members were expected to pay dues and help on various projects. Dues were the same for everyone as was the amount of expected labor.


In my experience, it’s more common that dues are based on a percentage of net income while labor is expected on a per person basis, yet I know that the one-size-fits-all approach is out there as well.

As expected not everyone did their share of the labor, but in most cases there was no "You will work x hours" rule. As for financial help, those of us with higher incomes often gave extra, but this was offered on a voluntary basis and was not expected—which I think is important.
Similarly, no one is forced to live in an income-sharing community. People chose to live there and no arms are being twisted. To be sure, in making that choice you'll be giving up most of your claim on discretionary money. In exchange, you get: a) security (the group will be there for you in hard times); b) less need to chase dollars (because of the economies of scale and the leveraging through sharing); c) a mix of work that includes a higher percentage of work you love, and a lower percentage of work you dislike (because people's aptitudes and preferences vary so much).

3. You lose control of your finances. This can be important if you are a good saver and investor and others in the community are not.

I agree with the advantages to a community sharing resources. In my experience the downside is upkeep. Unless someone is designated to see to maintenance its quality tends to fall to that provided by the least conscientious user.

You’re right that income-sharing communities are susceptible to tragedy of the commons dynamics (if no one owns it, no one takes care of it). Addressing this adequately requires wrestling with accountability issues and that's no cake walk.

There seems to be nothing in your list for improving life in the community that requires income sharing.

Au contraire, with income sharing you get:
Much more resource sharing (significantly lowering income needs).
o  Considerably more flexibility in how you cover both domestic work and income generation. In a typical two-adult household, you just have two variables for meeting both needs. In an income-sharing community of 10, it's possible for some people to do all domestic work while others slant everything toward income production—so long as you collectively make enough money and still get all the meals cooked, the diapers washed, and floors cleaned, you're fine. Having a mix of work you like is a tremendous boost to quality of life.
Much better economies of scale (if one person cooks for seven every night, it is far less total time spent in the kitchen than everyone cooking for themselves every night).
o  A significantly larger safety net (if one person gets sick or breaks a leg, it’s relatively easy to have everyone else shoulder a bit more to cover the slack—rather than all of that burden falling on their domestic partner, if they have one).

To be clear, the vast majority of intentional communities share with your hesitations about income sharing; but I've happily lived my last 40 years in one of the 10% of communities who pool income. I don’t expect to convince you that this is the way you ought to live. But I am hoping to convince you that I’m a thoughtful person who embraces income sharing for good reasons, and I’m hoping that you’ll see the potential it holds for pointing the way to attaining a high quality life on a fraction of the resource consumption of the average US citizen—which I believe is the challenge ahead.
 
Finally, I will note that employment of members by the community raises the whole employee/not equal, member/equal question, which, in my experience, has been a real deal breaker. And is one reason managers are told not to be friends with their subordinates.

Believe me, I understand the dynamic. Yet I’d rather figure out how to do it well—than forbid it because it’s awkward.
Categories: Long Form Blogs
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