INTRODUCTION TO THE “THEN AND NOW” SERIES
Visitors touring CoHo sometimes ask how our expectations for community prior to move-in differ from our current day-to-day reality.
Comparing “then and now” is the framework for this series of blog postings. The source of historical perspective is the CoHo newsletters published in 2006 and 2007 (they are still available on our website). This was an intensive time, with the primary focus on actively building the community (both in terms of actual construction of buildings and the collection of folks who would be our neighbors).
What were our dreams in 2006? What is our daily life like now in 2014?
First, read the original newsletter (link below), then return to this posting for current perspectives.
Thanks to the trial run of the Mock Home Selection, the process of Final Home Selection for the current 24 households went smoothly. Selection order was determined by order of membership in the community, so folks who had invested the most time and energy (and endured the most risk) had the highest seniority.
While seniority certainly made sense in this process, the group was undergoing some growing pains as new folks joined and shared their input. NVC was helpful in dealing with “old-timers” vs “newbies” issues.
How “final” was Final Home Selection?
Within the first year, two households literally swapped units. CoHoots carried household goods back and forth (or was it forth and back?).
Later, one household moved from a smaller unit into a bigger unit.
In all, 6 units were available for resale over the span of about 6 years (though not at a steady pace of 1 per year).
The first two resales went to folks who had completed the membership steps and were familiar with the community. Since that point, resales have been more unpredictable and matching the availability of unit with the readiness of a buyer has been challenging.
One person who bought a resale ended up moving to another cohousing community a few years later.
Unit location has proven to be a variable impacting households (perhaps more so than unit type/size).
Another side effect was that we got better and better at helping people move (see blog post titled “Moving Day“).
In general, the “co” in cohousing has continued to be more important than the “housing.”
P.S. Our Old Oak was celebrated in this issue of the newsletter. In 2007, she was the first of three trees to fall at CoHo (see blog posting “A Tale of Falling Trees at CoHo“).