- Requires low capital cost - This means the members may actually own their living space rather than just acquiring a mortgage they can afford. Without a mortgage payment, the member's need for outside income is reduced.
- Minimizes long-term operating cost - The need for outside, ongoing income can be reduced further by minimizing the ongoing cost of heating, powering, and maintaining the development.
- Generates external revenue - The need for ongoing income by individual members can be further reduced by ensuring that the facility itself generates income shared by the community.
- Achieves solitude / community balance - The complex needs to facilitate the members' ability to find their own balance between connection to community and getting away from the group to their own space to do their own thing.
We envision a housing complex comprised of 3 spacial elements:
- individual space
- common space
- revenue-generating space
These are the meetings and results we have achieved so far:
- Sat Apr 28, 2012 - Our formative meeting during the Transition Winnipeg (TW) Unleashing event. During our group discussion that day, we discussed the attributes of the development and the project. About 20 people signed up to pursue this idea further.
- Sun May 17 - There were 13 people at that meeting. We introduced ourselves to the rest of the group and shared our individual expectations for this project. We identified other cohousing groups in the area and started to plan our path forward.
- Sun May 27 - This was a facilitated visioning session. This delightful and expanding exercise helped us to develop our common vision so we can set meaningful goals.
- Sun Jun 10 - More sharing of individual expectations. Discuss rural vs urban, build new or refurbish existing, discuss cost targets and potential revenue sources
- Tue Jul 17 - Cooperatives - Terry-Lynn Poulx from Manitoba Housing & Community Development explained some alternative organizational options: incorporation vs different Housing Cooperative Categories
- Thu Aug 8 - Our Pot Luck picnic and socializing event at Assiniboine Park.
- Thu Aug 30 - Plan to develop a Decision-making process. In order to undertake a consensus based decision-making process, we need to know who the decision makers are; people need to declare their commitment.
- Sun Sep 23 - Ideas for acquiring Consensus-based decision-making training were discussed. Need for an interim decision-making process identified.
- Sun Oct 14 - We have 12 people who have declared themselves to be the Core Group. Another 18 people are Interested. We have 3 proposals: a) an interim decision-making process, b) decision-making training, c) to work towards forming a housing cooperative.
- Sun Oct 28 - We had a wonderful Pot Luck social gathering at Colette and Matthew's place.
- Wed Nov 7 - Blair Hamilton, Housing Coop Developer from Supporting Employment & Economic Development (SEED) informed us about various housing coop options.
- Sun Dec 2 - We discussed key questions for our group, we determined sample questions to resolve during our consensus training, and we continued to share core values that define us.
- Sun Dec 16 - Consensus-based decision making training for the Core Group. We have chosen a name for our group: "Prairie Rivers Cohousing" We have also agreed to a regular meeting schedule. For the next 5 months we will meet on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at 2:30 PM.
- Sat Dec 29 - We had a Pot Luck social gathering at Curt and Liisa's place.
- Sun Jan 6 - We formally adopted a consensus-based decision-making structure.
- Sun Jan 20 - Curt provided a document with his ideas for the essential requirements for our project. Randy has some ideas for research. This will be the basis for subsequent discussion. We have set up a subcommittee to 1) prepare a way to review the expectations and 2) suggest a structure for building the project.
- Sun Feb 3 - All Core Members have developed their own expectations for the project. The subcommittee has developed and presented a spreadsheet for developing the shared and necessary attributes. The spreadsheet is in the Dropbox: "Project Attributes Grid - Feb 3.xls" We will be discussing and developing these over the next few weeks.
- Sun Feb 17 - We met at the SEED office where Blair Hamilton, Housing Coop Developer, helped us start to populate our Project Attributes Grid.
- Sun Mar 3 - We met at the Eco Centre and continued to populate our Project Attributes Grid. We came up with questions to ask other cohousing projects.
- Sun Mar 17 - We met at Randy's son's Passive House. We learned about Passive House construction. We also shared a Pot Luck meal together.
- Sun Apr 7 - We met at the Eco Centre and pretty much completed our Project Attributes Grid (except for the financial portions).
- Sun Apr 21 - We met at the Eco Centre. Our discussion focussed on finances and funding.
Sun May 5 - NEXT MEETING at SEED Winnipeg (80 Salter Street) from 9:45am until 1pm. Blair Hamilton (SEED) will facilitate a session with us on these topics: limited equity coop (options limitations & consequences), financing alternatives, and construction & operating costs
For more information, contact Curt Hull (firstname.lastname@example.org)