Living in Cohousing

Our community expects all members, including all those in their households, to follow these principles of respect and responsibility:

Seven Areas of Respect

  1. Physical respect — respect personal boundaries and refrain from violence.
  2. Emotional respect — respect other peoples feelings and emotions.
  3. Verbal respect — be honest. Listen to others and hear what they are saying to you.
  4. Territorial respect — respect everyone’s right to privacy, solitude and quiet. Negotiate the use of common spaces.
  5. Material respect — care for personal, communal and community property.
  6. Respect for diversity — respect diversity of age, gender, racial origins, sexual orientation, spiritual practices and beliefs (including none) and physical and mental capabilities.
  7. Respect for community structure and decision-making process.

Seven Areas of Responsibility

  1. Attend and participate in community meetings.
  2. Communicate your ideas and feelings.
  3. Contribute time and energy to community tasks.
  4. Serve on committees and teams.
  5. Fulfill financial obligations; seek early help with financial problems,
  6. Inform the community about guests staying for extended periods or changes in individual circumstances.
  7. Inform others about any violence and violations of these guidelines regarding respect and responsibility.

Who does well in our community setting?

  1. Someone who is fulfilled and doing well in their life (someone who is not looking for cohousing to “fix” something).
  2. Someone with a healthy sense of self.
  3. Someone open to and able to hear other points of view. (Someone used to being in charge and having their way is often frustrated in a community setting, until they become more comfortable with a group process.)
  4. Someone who feels a connection to people and is concerned about the well-being of others.
  5. Someone willing to abide by group agreements and processes.
  6. Someone willing to speak up and take initiative.
  7. Someone willing to be quiet and listen in order to give others their due opportunity to express opinions.
  8. Someone who is happy, positive, optimistic and who enjoys life.

Adapted from Creating a Life Together by Diane Leaf Christian c. 2003, New Society Publishers. B.C. Canada.

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