Economic Climate Conversation Applauded

On Saturday, October 25, 2008, Coho/US brought six cohousing luminaries together on a panel to explore how the current economic crisis impacts cohousing. The response to that initial conversation was very positive with requests that Coho/US hold more discussions. Coho/US will follow up with its next call in early December focusing on the concerns of early stage forming groups.

The Panelists

One listener said, "I believe
anyone deeply passionate about
cohousing needs to hear this call.
Get yourself a cup of tea and
listen to a conversation which,
underneath it all, reminds us that
the sum of our parts is
greater than our whole."

More than 100 listeners called in to hear board member Dr. Lisa Poley deftly moderate the exchange among:

  • Architect Charles Durrett, who with wife Kathryn McCamant, introduced the concept of cohousing to the United States 20 years ago. They live in Nevada City Cohousing (CA).
  • Developer Jim Leach, President of Wonderland Hill who lives at Silver Sage Cohousing (CO).
  • Coho/US's President Rick Mockler who is vice president of CoHousing Partners and lives at Muir Commons (CA).
  • Bob Bruegel who is President of Support Financial, Inc. which has provided early stage bridge financing to cohousing projects for the past decade. Bob is a founding resident of Nyland Cohousing (CO).
  • Craig Ragland, Executive Director of Coho/US, was on the call gathering questions from listeners. He is now gathering questions for the next call in December. He lives in Songaia Cohousing (WA).

(Catya Belfer-Shevett was slated to be on the call but she encountered phone difficulties and could not join. She is part of Mosaic Commons which is completing construction in Berlin, MA and has a number of units for sale.)

The panelists first looked at how built communities can increase their residents' individual and collective resilience to better weather the storm. The conversation then turned to new communities, those still in the design and planning phase and those with units to sell. The last section of the talk looked at the exceptional opportunities that today await early cohousing groups looking to buy land or find housing to retrofit as well as some of the cautions and constraints that the current climate poses for them.

The conversation received high marks by those who completed a survey about the call. Coho/US is using that feedback to improve its next call in early December on early stage forming groups.

One listener said, "I believe that anyone who is deeply passionate about cohousing needs to hear this call. Get yourself a cup of tea, settle yourself and listen to a conversation which, underneath it all, reminds us that the sum of our parts is greater than our whole."

The 1-hour, 22-minute Economic Crisic Conversation was recorded on October 25th and can be heard online. You can listen to it by clicking here.

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