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Subject: alt.housing.nontrad Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:22:11 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: Root Directory
All FAQs posted in: alt.housing.nontrad
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: housing-nontrad-faq Last-modified: 1994/06/01 Posting-frequency: weekly
_NEW VERSION!_ Thanks to those who have helped to alleviate my ignorance. (To those who were unhappy with the first FAQ, I respectfully point out that no more knowledgeable soul had attempted to start one.) ALT.HOUSING.NONTRAD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) Contents * 1: What's This Group? + 1.1: Can I post looking for a roommate here? (NO!) + 1.2: Then what is this newsgroup about? + 1.3: Where can I find the latest FAQ? + 1.4: Where is this group archived? * 2: Cohousing + 2.1: What is cohousing? + 2.2: Isn't that exclusive? Sounds like a subdivision. + 2.3: What examples of cohousing groups can you point to? + 2.4: Where else can I read about cohousing? * 3: Nontraditional Houses + 3.1: Where can I learn about nontraditional houses? 1: What's This Group? 1.1: Can I post looking for a [summer sublet, roommate, etc] here? NO. THIS IS A WORLDWIDE NEWSGROUP. People in Sao Paulo, Brazil, have LITTLE TO NO interest in your desire for a summer sublet in Nice, France. Thank you. Use a newsgroup local to your facility or geographical area! 1.2: Then what is alt.housing.nontrad about? This group was formed to discuss nontraditional housing. I had new ideas such as cohousing (see below) in mind when I created it. The group is meant for discussion of both alternative _households_ (multigenerational housing, which was once the norm, multifamily housing with shared recreational spaces, even Nerd Houses...) and alternative _houses_ (which I didn't have in mind at first, but I agree they're perfectly relevant to the group). 1.3: Where can I find the latest FAQ? It's posted automatically to the newsgroup on a regular basis; you can also find it on the World Wide Web at the URL <http://siva.cshl.org/~boutell/nth_faq.html>. 1.4: Where is this group archived? This group is archived on the FTP site sunsite.unc.edu. FTP to that site (see comp.unix.questions if you need help with FTP) and do the following commands (thanks to Larry London): cd pub/academic/environment/alternative-energy/miscellaneous cd discussion-groups/newsgroups cd alt.housing.nontrad 2: Cohousing 2.1: What is cohousing? The following is drawn from the welcome message of the COHOUSING-L mailing list (described later in this FAQ): Cohousing is the name of a type of collaborative housing that has been developed primarily in Denmark since 1972 where it is known as bofoellesskaber (English approximation...) . It is characterized by: Private dwellings Typically each dwelling contains a kitchen, living-dining room and one or more bedrooms and baths, but the layout of the home is reshuffled to reflect community priorities - placing most used areas of home so they have a view of and easy access to the pedestrian street. Extensive common facilities The common building is designed for daily use, to supplement private living areas. The common building may include such facilities as a large dining room including a commercial style kitchen, lounges, meeting rooms, recreation facilities, library, workshops, childcare. Participatory process Residents organize and participate in the planning and design process for the development and are responsible as a group for all final decisions. Intentional Neighborhood design The physical design itself encourages a strong sense of community (as opposed to isolation) and facilitates social contact. Complete Resident Management Residents manage the community making decisions of common concern at community meetings. Pragmatic social goals Unlike collective and intentional communities, Cohousing retains the privacy and autonomy of the household but strengthens the family by creating supportive social networks and sharing certain daily tasks. The typical Cohousing community has 20 to 30 single family homes along a pedestrian street or clustered around a pedestrian court yard. The individual homes may resemble townhouses. Cars are kept on the periphery of the area. The common building is located centrally, often situated so it is passed when entering the community. Residents of cohousing communities often have several optional group meals in the common building each week. 2.2: Isn't that exclusive? Sounds like a subdivision. Jim Ratliff tells us: Affordable housing is a major challenge. But it's not the challenge that cohousing is addressing. Cohousing shouldn't be criticized for the problems it does NOT solve, but rather should be praised for the problems it DOES attempt to solve. Of course, SOMEONE has to pay extra to allow those with less money (i.e. can't pay their share) to participate. Those in my group are neither rich nor poor, but hopefully have just barely enough to barely make it work for them. They certainly aren't well-off enough to subsize others. There's no magic bullet for affordable housing: Someone has to pay in the end. To ask for subsidization for poorer members is to require the existence of richer members--the exclusivity problem persists! 2.3: What examples of cohousing groups can you point to? Once again, Jim Ratliff to the rescue: You can get a list from: The Cohousing Company 1250 Addison St. #113 Berkeley CA 94702 (510) 549-9980 There's also a list in the Cohousing Resource Guide, described in the next section. 2.4: Where else can I read about cohousing? References provided by Larry London: First another electronic resource: there is a cohousing mailing list. Send mail to listserv@uci.com with the following line in the BODY of the message (no subject line needed): subscribe COHOUSING-L myname (_Information about the Cohousing Resource Guide provided originally by Rob Sandelin_) The cohousing resource guide will be available in March of this year. It is produced by the Puget Sound Cohousing Network, and compiled and edited largely by me. The Cohousing Resource Guide is a 50+ page collection of experiences, advice and learning from several of the cohousing groups in our region who have built projects. It includes information about group process and dynamics, finding a site, some begining design issues to think about, and a bunch of other info. It also includes references to books, tapes and cohousing groups and people. It is designed in a three ring binder format to be cheap and easy to annually update as new resources and advice gets shared. To order a copy send $6 (This covers our printing and mailing costs) to Rob Sandelin 22020 East Lost Lake Rd. Snohomish, WA 98290 Reference provided by Art Mulder: _Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves_-- 2nd ed._ Kathryn M. McCamant and Charles R. Durrett and Ellen Hertzman, 1994, Ten Speed Press, Post Office Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707. $29.95. 22 cm x 24.5 cm (8.5" x 9.5") , 288 pages, Paperback is (aqua) green. More from Larry London: There also a monthly magazine, viz. "Cohousing Magazine," which I believe costs $25/year (comes out quarterly I think). Write to: The CoHousing Network P.O. Box 2584 Berkeley CA 94702 3: Nontraditional Houses 3.1: Where can I learn about nontraditional houses? There is a newsgroup about this subject, alt.architecture.alternative. In addition, the following wisdom is provided by Larry London, with minor editing by me: There is information about this and many other topics at sunsite.unc.edu. Check out the ftp directory: pub/academic/environment/alternative-energy/miscellaneous on sunsite.unc.edu and try the following (if you need basic information about FTP please read news.announce.newusers and comp.unix.questions): cd faqs or cd discussion-groups/newsgroups cd alt.architecture.alternative