Sharon Villines's blog

Leadership for Meal Programs Increases Meals

"It is a strategy I think a community could use to jump start their program, and then talk about how to reduce the centralization after a year or more of successful meals. Since we have quite slowly added new households it is quite clear that our successful meals program is what has helped get more people involved in it."

How many cohousing communities are there?

Posted by Fred Olson on Cohousing-L:

From the Cohousing Directory on the number of cohousing communities:

Completed: 111
Building 22
Own Site 21
Site Optioned 6
Seeking Site 12
Forming 38
Retrofitting 11
Total active: 221 in 36 states

Other database entries:
Disbanded 2
Dormant 2
Unknown 3

New Marketing Ideas

Carolyn Dyer of Iowa City Cohousing, still forming, posted their marketing plan to the Cohousing-L email list a week or two ago. I thought it contained many new ideas and asked her if I could share it here. She said yes so here it is. I particularly liked their use of speakers on related topics, field trips, and follow up on the effectiveness of their presentations and materials. It brings out people with similar interests to socialize who might not be interested in a pot-luck.

Only in Cohousing

If I had an emergency at work and had to go to the hospital, there are 12 homes where my children could stay for 48 hours and be completely comfortable. A single mother by choice with two daughters, ages 3 and 6.

Single Mothers by Choice is an organization that provides information and support to women who are considering adopting or giving birth to children as a single parent. As part of this decision, women are encouraged to consider the financial and social requirements of single parenting.

Architectural Review Policies: Plan-Implement-Measure

Architectural review policies are generally hard to write, partly because we have very different housing experiences when we move into cohousing and partly because we have never had the experience of living in a place where people have been so diverse with so many ideas about what is desirable. The process involves understanding how to live in a jointly owned or managed community, the legal ramifications for the association, and shared aesthetic or not shared aesthetics. Policies often need to be educational. Policies are also interrelated—architectural review is affected by the conflict resolution process and the design process. If you begin thinking about architectural review as soon as you begin thinking about design It might avoid some hurdles later.

What Should We Be Afraid Of?

On Cohousing-L, a member of a forming group asked a smart question: "What SHOULD we be worried about?"

Philip Dowds, an architect living in Cornerstone Cohousing in Cambridge Cohousing replied:

Plan on delay. Plan on surprising cost increases. Plan on flogging your way past disappointments. Your group may have to deal one or more of …


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