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FIND YOUR DREAM HOME OR APARTMENT
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The newest trend is in Senior cohousing, which the AARP and many Senior Service Centers are lauding for the way in which seniors can have close neighbors who help them out when needed.
In Denmark, the origin of this neighborhood design, over forty years of cohousing living has proven to be very positive. Here is a link to a directory of cohousing communities:
Take a look!
As kids growing up in the 70s, we knew we could only get into so much trouble before an adult would call our parents to tell on us. Neighbors would stop by with zucchini bread or jam or something. Parents would take turns taking the kids to school. Our parents socialized with the neighbors, and our neighborhood had this family feeling. As adults, though, we'd grown so far away from that, thinking it was no fun, or people were shady and couldn't be trusted, so we withdrew, and in our withdrawal we lost something. Now we have that back.
The makeup of the community is critical, of course, but this community has drawn to it people who are like-minded about many of the things that bring people together. Whether it's a safe place to raise kids, sharing the upkeep on the yard work, concern over wasted resources, we have these common interests to pull us together.
Consider the wheelbarrow. It's a fairly large tool, but you need it only occasionally. We had one when we moved in, so we store it in the shed and we are glad to share it, why not? Other people have other tools they gladly share as well, and between us, we have nearly every imaginable tool for any task that may arise, a really well-stocked garage. Now, if each of us, individually, wanted to have these things on our own, not only would it require the additional space in each of our homes, but it would take all the resources to make each of these things.
Other tools may be more precious or require more skill, and in these cases, people either keep them on their own property, or they ask that anyone using them ask for permission first. The only things that are shared are the things no one minds sharing, and are glad to share for the relief of having a place to store it.
This is just one example, of course. We could, if we chose to, not share, not talk to our neighbors, in which case, this would be pretty much like any other place (well, a bit nicer because the parking is all on the perimeter, many gardeners live here so it's gorgeous, and people here are just, well, kinder. But I digress.) The houses are all set up for regular living... they all have kitchens and bedrooms and bathrooms. But communally, we have access to a workshop, a chef kitchen, guest suites, craft area, dining hall, laundry room, (in case you don't want to use your own unit's utility room to house a separate washer/dryer) and more. And because it belongs to us all, there is a sense of pride in ownership, so we take care of these things.
Living here allows us to share or not share as much as we are comfortable with. We have plots in the shared garden, but we share the crops as we choose. We could keep them all if we chose to, and no one would think twice about it. We share, though, because we have an abundance, and because it's fun. Just like when we were kids.
Things shouldn't be that bad actually. The nature of community depends on people who form the commune, and I don't think co-housing should be so horrible experience if you share the house with ppl who really are your friends.
A new and inventive way for architects to repackage the same old thing and make money. If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, - its a DUCK. IT'S A CONDO! Seriously, everyone is not crazy. We have all seen the tremendous loss in condo values due the co-housing effect. Yup, you can buy a $400,000 condo for $160,000, but the cash flow problem due to vacancies will turn it into low-rent housing. Hopefully we won't see these co-housing projects start popping up around the country. Yikes!!
I would agree with many of the negative comments posted by other users thus far. However, let's get real folks, condo boards under good old fashioned capitalistic systems are good at limiting our freedoms. When we live in social communities together a part of that equation is we accept some reasonable limitations to function together collectively!
Any group of social animals who decide to cohere as a group are going to have to find a way to truly, intelligently, cooperatively, exist--in spite of differences in opinion and experience.
Assuming that this approach is bad just because economics aren't there or the collective approach limits freedoms is plain wrongheaded. Regardless of whether this model as practiced is feasible or not, we clearly need to find a new model, because the old one in the 21st Century (with insane mortgages) that put people out of there homes and make the already ridiculous rich, filthy RICH, no longer serves any of us. PEACE!