Rainbow or White Bread? Ethnic Diversity in Cohousing

 

Fostermamas (see blog entry below) also mentioned that their family is multi-generational and multiracial. And on June 27th, Annette wrote a blog response, "Regarding ethnic diversity, what are the statistics?"

David Entin of Rocky Hill Cohousing in Northampton, Massachusetts (and Board Member of Coho/US and co-host of its "Research" Topic Room), responds with the following:

"My own cohousing community has wrestled with this question, especially when we were recruiting for initial members and found it so difficult to attract people of color. We do live in an area that has few people of color, which made it more difficult. Our 28 household adult members are all white, though one has part Native American heritage. We do have more diversity of children, through adoptions, children from India, Guatemala, and African-American children.

"In addition, we have diversity in terms of age (from six months to 72 years), a disabled person, and a good mix of gay and straight, both individuals and couples.

"I am familiar with the three others cohousing communities here in the Pioneer/Connecticut River Valley, and they are similar to us in terms of limited diversity. We also have some diversity through a few renters and associate members."

I'd love to hear from more cohousers -- including people seeking a cohousing community to join -- what they want, and what they expect, in terms of ethnic diversity in cohousing. Are cohousing communities welcoming to people of color (I think they are) and to multi-racial families? And to larger, multi-generational families? What are you finding? Thanks!

  —Diana Leafe Christian