Prospective Member Checklist
Prospective Member Checklist
Ashland Cohousing Community Prospective Member Process
We’re excited you want to learn more about the Ashland Cohousing Community! The purpose of this process is to help you discover if ACC is a good fit and learn if our community’s values, policies, and expectations resonate with your vision of community living. We’re hoping this will help you, as a prospective member, make an informed decision about joining our cohousing community and create opportunities for new relationships and collaboration. This process in not mandatory! It’s just meant to be an enjoyable exploration into community, allowing us to get to know one another and experience the joys of living in community. You will be given the phone number of a community member who will be your main contact, but we also encourage you to meet with as many members as you can.
Before Making an Offer
We strongly recommend all of the following before making an offer on a house:
- Review Membership Information on the Website
We strongly recommend that you read all the items under Membership on the Ashland Cohousing Community Website thoroughly (and before you have tea with the group) so you can better understand the values and existing policies, and note any questions that come up.
If you are not able to do this on line, an orientation packet can be provided from the seller of the home or the membership team.
- Attend one Community Meeting or one Team Meeting
The business of living in community is accomplished through various team and whole community meetings. We make our decisions via consensus. This is a very central aspect of our community life. Attending at least one Community Meeting and one Team Meeting is extremely important. Certainly, the more meetings you attend the more you’ll get to know us and this process.
- Attend a Community Meal
Another key aspect of how we sustain our community is through making meals and eating dinner together twice a week. Prospective members can join us by letting us know you want to come a couple of days in advance.
- Read a Book and Talk to People
Cohousing is a concept that is familiar to some, but completely new to others. While Cohousing has proven to be successful and popular throughout the world, it is a relatively new concept in the United States. We encourage you to talk with people in this and other Cohousing communities. These books also detail how successful Cohousing communities have been established and we recommend reading at least one of them.
Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves by Kathryn McCamant
and Charles Durrett.
Reinventing Community: Stories from the Walkways of Cohousing by David Wann
Online resources with information on Cohousing
- Attend a Community Tea
Another way to get answers, helpful information, and insight is by having tea with the community. Not everyone in the community will attend, but we will make sure some households are represented. We will do our best to make the conversation both informational and personal. Please email the membership team at firstname.lastname@example.org with some potential days and times that work for you and we will organize this gathering. If you are not able to do this before making an offer, please arrange to do so soon after during your contingency period as this is the time to really explore your relationship with the community.
Community Meeting Date: __________ After-Dinner/Team Meeting Date: __________
Community Meal Date: ____________ Community Tea Date:___________________
Ashland Cohousing Community Prospective Member Process (continued)
Once in Escrow
Once you have entered escrow, there are additional things to learn and know about living here. We want your transition into the community to be as smooth as possible and recommend that you do as many of the following things as you can before moving in:
- Get a Buddy
You will be assigned a “buddy” from the community. Your buddy will go over a list of items that are helpful for you to know about, even before you move in. Your buddy will also help you meet each community household and learn what their roles in the community are.
- Understand and Support Existing Policies and Decisions
This community was formed by a group of people who came together in the early 2000s. Over the years we have learned a lot about how to live together in community and have made many decisions. New residents are asked to read over and support all past decisions and our lifestyle policies. (You are welcome to do this even before you enter escrow.)
- Submit Biographies
We ask that you write a one-paragraph biography for each member of your household as a way to introduce yourself and for use on our website. Please email this to the membership team. (Optional)
- Learn About Consensus
As mentioned above, we make decisions using a consensus model. If you do not have experience with or knowledge of the consensus decision-making process in a group setting, we strongly recommend you read about it using these online resources. Your buddy will check-in with you about this. Once you have a basic understanding, your buddy will explain specifically how we employ consensus in our decision-making processes.
- Information on consensus
- Our Decision Making Process
- Wikipedia’s consensus decision making entry
- Consensus Basics by Tree Bressen
We look forward to getting to know you!
– Ashland Cohousing Community