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.
Paths to CoHo
There are still myriad paths to CoHo.
In most cases, the notion of community (sometimes packaged as cohousing) has been with folks for some time. When rekindled, a first step is typically to research communities (first via the web and then in person).
Many cohousing groups that are not actively trying to recruit new members truncate their website down to the basics. CoHo has committed to maintaining a website with lots of information about our community. You can check out floor plans, review membership documents, see lots of photos, read stories about community life, study our Vision & Values, and see what units are for rent/sale.
CoHo continues to offer both public (prescheduled) tours and private tours (scheduled according to visitors’ timeframes). Summer is a busy tour time.
Local folks have more opportunities to get to know a community over time while out-of-towners have a shorter window to look at the possibilities.
During the exploration phase, many people say they could see themselves moving “in a year or two.” It would be fascinating to see how many are able to transform an idea into a reality in that timeframe and what factors enabled them to take the next steps.
Six of the seven resales after move-in went to folks who already had some connection with CoHo (on waiting list, rented a unit, were Friends of CoHo), so it looks like one pattern is to get to know a community first, then make a final decision to buy a unit.
P&P became our Administration Team. After a flurry of activity for the first few years, Admin now meets quarterly. A major undertaking was the launch of a Tiki intranet site with a coordinated calendar and archives with thousands of CoHo documents. Whew! Having some documentation folks in a community can simplify lots of community efforts over the years. It is heartening to know that after spending many meetings and many months reaching consensus on policies and agreements that someone can actually locate those files when needed.
CoHoots share many interests and get together on a regular basis to work on craft projects, knit, brew beer, make mead, go boating, read/discuss books, do a poetry or play reading, and more…. It’s really easy organizing a gathering when everyone lives right next door. That doesn’t mean, however, that folks are “on time.” When an event starts late, the refrain “We’re on CoHo time” will usually be heard.