Policy Example - Affiliates Guidelines


The Affiliates Policy outlines two categories of affiliation with CoHo Ecovillage--Friends of CoHo and Associate Members.  These categories are open to non-owners/non-residents who want to maintain ongoing connections with CoHo through regular involvement in community life.  The vision is to create and maintain meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with those outside our on-site community.  In accordance with CoHo policy, a general overview is provided in the policy document and specific details are listed in these Affiliates Guidelines.

See CoHoMembershipGuidelines for a color-coded chart of application steps, responsibilities and rights for Owners, Non-Resident Owners, Resident Non-Owners, Associate Members, and Friends of CoHo.  This document is the "master list" and all associated documents, such as application and agreement forms, are based on this document.

Friends of CoHo


Application and Agreement Forms

A document that includes membership information, an application form, and an agreement form is posted on the CoHo website.

When the application and fee are received, Neighbors Team does the administrative tasks listed at the bottom of the application to assist in the completion of the Friends of CoHo agreement form.

Prospective Friends of CoHo complete the steps listed on the agreement form.  When the completed form and payment(s) are received, the Neighbors Team does the administrative tasks listed at the bottom of the agreement form to assist in orienting the new Friend of CoHo to the community.

Fees and Dues

Friends of CoHo application fees and dues are set during the annual budgeting process.  Checks are made payable to CoHoTopia.  For more detail, see Appendix A:  Dues.


Friends are invited to be actively involved in community life.  Basic responsibilities include abiding by agreements, participating in community life, and meeting financial commitments.  An optional contribution of workshare hours is requested.  Friends of CoHo can request expansion of their responsibilities by working out an agreement with the Neighbors Team.  Some Friends may desire to pursue Associate Membership in the future and may have an interest in deeper involvement in the community.

Affiliation as a Friend of CoHo offers several basic benefits including use of email communication and intranet features, inclusion in the meal program, and participation in social activities.  Friends of CoHo can request expansion of their rights by working out an agreement with the Neighbors Team.

Cap on Number of Friends of CoHo

A cap on the number of Friends of CoHo (households and individuals) may be set by CoHoTopia voting members.  There is currently no cap.

Ending Membership

A Friend of CoHo may end their membership at any time by sending or delivering a written resignation to the Neighbors Team.  In addition, a Friend of CoHo who does not pay annual dues is considered to have ended their membership.

A Friend of CoHo membership may be terminated by the community through a consensus decision by CoHoTopia voting members and CoHoTopia nonvoting members who are Associate Members.

If more than 3 months remain on the membership, a prorated refund will be paid by CoHoTopia.


Associate Members

Application and Agreement Forms

The Associate Member application process takes a minimum of 12 weeks to give CoHoots time to connect with the prospective Associate Member.

A document that includes membership information, an application form, and an agreement form is posted on the CoHo website.  The application fee is waived if the prospective Associate Member joined as a Friend of CoHo less than 6 months earlier.

When the application and fee are received, Membership Team does the administrative tasks listed at the bottom of the application to assist in the completion of the Associate Member agreement form. 

Prospective Associate members complete the steps listed on the agreement form.

After a minimum of 12 weeks and the completion of the initial membership steps on the agreement form (steps up to and including the Clearness Committee), the prospective Associate Members' request for membership is brought to a community or business meeting within 1 to 2 months for a consensus decision by CoHoTopia voting members and CoHoTopia nonvoting members who are Associate Members.

If the membership request is not approved, the Membership Team meets with prospective Associate Members for feedback and sharing.  Assistance may be requested from the CPR Team.  They are removed from CoHoList and CoHoChat (can stay on CoHoChat if Friend of CoHo).

When the membership request has been approved by consensus, the Membership Team accepts the completed Associate Member Agreement Form and payment and does the administrative tasks listed at the bottom of the form to assist Associate Members in getting involved in the community add to membership list, get on meal software, etc.).

Fees and Dues

Associate Member application fees and dues are set during the annual budgeting process.  Checks are made payable to CoHoTopia.  For more detail, see Appendix A:  Dues.



In general, the responsibilities for Associate Members are designed to parallel what is expected of unit owners.  Associate Members are encouraged to be actively involved in community life.  Basic responsibilities include abiding by agreements, participating in community life, and meeting financial commitments.  The workshare expectation is less than the expectation for on-site owners/renters.

In general, the Associate Member rights are parallel to what is available to unit owners.  Associate Members in CoHo have many benefits--including use of more email communication and intranet features, inclusion in the meal program, social support, and participation in activities and community governance.

Cap on Number of Associate members

A cap on the number of Associate Members (households and individuals) is set by CoHoTopia voting members.  The current cap is 6 households; there is no cap on the number of individuals.

Associate Member CoHort Groups

For greater logistic and scheduling ease, the Membership Team may establish set times when folks can start the Associate Member application process (for example, having two CoHort groups per year).  When dates are selected, the Neighbors Team will promote the upcoming CoHort group.

Ending Membership

An Associate Member may resign at any time by sending or delivering a written resignation to the Membership Team.  Associate Members that end their membership will be encouraged to go through a CoHo exit process similar to the one used with resident owners, including an exit interview and settling of accounts.

An associate membership can be revoked from CoHoTopia by the same process used for "suspension or removal of voting members" described in the CoHoTopia bylaws.

Appendix A:  Associate Member Dues and Friends of CoHo Dues
Appendix B:  Research on Associate Member Programs at Other Cohousing Communities
Appendix C:  Links to Themes From Long-Range Planning Process
Appendix D:  Tiki Access

Related Documents

See the most recent versions of these documents (dates omitted to avoid frequent revision of this document when related documents are updated)
FriendsofCoHoPaperwork (information posted on our public website)
AssociateMembersPaperwork (information posted on our public website)

Revision History

This guideline was created and initially approved by the Neighbors Team 20110922.  It was revised in 20121021 as part of an update and alignment of membership documents.  These Guidelines were revised slightly in 20130000 to bring them in alignment with the new policy on the use of CoHo's workshop.

Appendix A:
Friends of CoHo and Associate Member Dues

To meet our need for income diversity, flexibility in the amount of dues (and application fees) for both Affiliates categories is available by contacting the Membership Team (for Associate Members) and the Neighbors Team (for Friends of CoHo).  This flexibility is in addition to the sliding scales listed below.

Friends of CoHo
Friends of CoHo pay annual dues for the opportunity to be included on CoHoChat and to participate in social events and the meal program.

Friends of CoHo dues had been unchanged for several years ($25/year per household) and renewals had not been collected for the 2009/2010 fiscal year or the 2010/2011 fiscal year.

When the Associate Member concept was being developed, a parallel discussion of Friends of CoHo rights/responsibilities unfolded.  Changes were made to the Friends of CoHo category to create more opportunities to build meaningful relationships (the majority of current Friends of CoHo had no contact with the community). 

The base annual dues amount per household was left unchanged at $25.

To join the meal program (i.e. be on the meal software), adult Friends of CoHo pay an annual amount.  To meet income diversity needs, that amount is on a sliding scale ($24 to $48).  This payment helps to cover the overhead costs associated with meals (current overhead costs for Common House are $30/day).  Members and Associate Members contribute to overhead via monthly dues.

To parallel the family-friendly meal pricing structure for Members and Associate Members (meal prices for kids are lower), there is not an annual meal program payment for children in Friends of CoHo families.

Friends of CoHo who opt not to join the meal program can still come to community meals as guests of Members or Associate Members.

The Neighbors Team will make the initial Friends of CoHo dues recommendation each year.
Friends of CoHo dues will be set during the annual community budgeting process and will go into effect October 1st, the start of the next fiscal year.


Associate Members
Associate Members pay monthly dues for the opportunity to be an active member of our community and have access to community events.  What's a workable way to set Associate Member dues?  What tangible and intangible factors are important?  Here's the approach used for our initial dues recommendation.

Consider the value to the community and to the Associate Member.
Benefits to the community from the perspective of Songaia Cohousing --
"I see our Associate Program as core to Songaia's future.  It is turning out to be a HUGE influx of new resources into the community - new gardeners, dishes at potlucks, participation in creating more fun, as well as help with other projects.
Unexpectedly, it is also great marketing.  For when a Songaia home came up for sale recently, all 8 of the prospective buyers were Members, Associates or in the process of becoming Associates.  The unit sold in about 10 days.  We never dealt with any uninformed prospective buyers - and everyone who considered the purchase was already in meaningful relationships with our community."

Benefits to the Associate Member --
Being a recognized member of the community with 25+ rights/benefits, a first-hand preview of life in CoHo, social connection and support, playmates (young and old), and easier access to buying a unit in the future (or if living at CoHo isn't the goal--the joy of living off-site in a setting that better meets needs while still having strong ties to CoHo)

Consider the intangible factor that being part of a caring, sharing community is "priceless."

Consider costs.  Follow the example of other cohousing communities and get a dollars-and-cents frame of reference by tallying the tangible expenses that residents pay through dues for the ongoing costs of what would be shared with Associate Members--facilities (such as Common House), resources (such as childcare), and overhead (such as utilities).  Figure out the average monthly cost per unit in CoHo (based on 34 units and 2011 budget, that amount is $62) and per adult in CoHo (based on 52 adults and 2011 budget, that amount is $41). 

Consider income diversity.  In support of our value of increasing diversity (including income diversity), set dues by household, not by individual, and use a sliding scale.  The upper end of the sliding scale is based on the monthly average of the tangible costs divided by 34 units or 52 individuals; the lower end of the sliding scale is 50% of the higher end.  This strategy puts our dues in the range set by some cohousing communities with associate member programs.

Based on this strategy, the initial dues recommendation is for a sliding scale from $20 to $40 for individuals (adults) or $30 to $60 for households.

The Membership Team will make the initial Associate Member dues recommendation each year.  Associate Member dues will be set during the annual community budgeting process and will go into effect October 1st, the start of the next fiscal year.

Appendix B:
Research on Associate Member Programs at
Other Cohousing Communities

The following information was compiled from postings on the national cohousing list serv and email communication with specific communities.  Quoted passages are in italics.

Bothell, Washington, 38 residents in 15 homes on 11 acres, completed 2000
(a group often praised by CoHoots who visited this community several years ago during the development of CoHo)

Quoting Craig Raglund (cohousing list serv posting):
"I see our Associate Program as core to Songaia's future.
It is turning out to be a HUGE influx of new resources into the community - new gardeners, dishes at potlucks, participation in creating more fun, as well as help with other projects.
Unexpectedly, it is also great marketing.  For when a Songaia home came up for sale recently, all 8 of the prospective buyers were Members, Associates or in the process of becoming Associates.  The unit sold in about 10 days.  We never dealt with any uninformed prospective buyers - and everyone who considered the purchase was already in meaningful relationships with our community.

Why did we do this [set up an Associate Member program] years after construction? Because of the level of interest from neighbors and our frequent visitors in the area - and the need for everybody at Songaia to feel good about their frequent sharing of our resources, that we needed more definition."

Songaia Unified Associates Program
Posted Jan. 27. 2008;  Passed Feb. 10, 2008
Sponsor: Navigators

Since its inception, Songaia has made efforts to be open to social and cultural relationships with people who are not owners or who do not live on the property.  We have invited fellow communitarians to join with us to engage in activities that are mutually beneficial.  To this end, we established the Associate membership as the way to authorize and formalize this special relationship.
The Songaia Bylaws provide for Associate Members, and describe them as being "supporters of the condominium, or co-housing in general".  The Bylaws also require that Associates be "approved for associate membership by the Board of Directors of the Association".  Beyond that, the rights, responsibilities and relationship between Songaia and the Associates are ours to define.

Two previous decision board proposals ("Songaia-Alpaca Place Member Affiliation Proposal", passed in April 2007, and "Songaia Associates", passed in March 2007) defined Associate relationships for two distinct groups of people:  (1) for Alpaca Place Residents, and (2) for all other persons desiring a formalized relationship with Songaia.  These agreements were the result of separate efforts, conceived in different contexts, but never coordinated.  As a result, various inconsistencies and inequities (centering on privileges, responsibilities, and costs) came to light shortly after our first prospective Associates began the process of applying for membership.

This proposal, therefore, seeks to rectify these problems into a Unified Associate Program.  When passed, it will supersede the aforementioned proposals.

The proposal:
There shall be three types of memberships:  Level I, "Friend"; Level II, "Familiar"; and Level III, "Proximal Resident".  The privileges and costs per adult associated with each level are outlined on the accompanying chart.

1.  Steps to becoming an Associate of Songaia (applies to all levels of Associates):
The interested person submits a dated, written declaration of intent in the form of a simple letter. This declaration needs to include:
•     What are your hopes and expectations with respect to being associated with Songaia?
•     What are you bringing to Songaia?
•     List some specific things you are interested in doing for/with Songaia.

2. After declaring their intention, the interested person chooses a resident of Songaia to serve as sponsor, or one will be assigned by the Navigators. The sponsor shall be a resident of Songaia. The sponsor will help orient the potential Associate to the unique culture of Songaia, including the residents, the property and its uses, and the evolving “house rules” or common practices of Songaia.

3. The potential Associate must attend/participate in at least six community events before being considered for approval as an Associate. Possible events include the following: community meals, workdays, game nights, Songaia Synema, talent show, Thanksgiving, and Earth Day, and other events by approval of the Songaia membership.  The potential Associate's sponsor or a designated proxy must be present at the event.

4. A criminal background check from states in which the applicant has recently lived will be obtained for the potential Associate (at the applicant’s expense). This report, along with the declaration of intent, will be on file in the office for inspection by members of Songaia.

5. After the above items have been completed, the prospective Associate may ask their sponsor to present them to be a Songaia Associate. Approval shall be made by consensus of the Board of Directors at the next scheduled Member meeting.

6. After approval as an Associate of Songaia, the community will hold a welcoming ceremony for the new Associate.

II.        Songaia Associates’ responsibilities:

1.         They must agree to know and abide by the by-laws of the condominium association and by the most current draft of Songaia’s House Rules (community behavioral norms – formal and informal).

2.         They must pay the fee for their chosen level in a timely manner (within 30 days of formal acceptance to Associate status). Proportionate monthly payments may be arranged with the Songaia bookkeeper. Privileges may be suspended for non-payment.

3.         Associates may not use the common areas and tools for commercial ventures.

III.       Termination:
Either party may terminate this agreement, at any time, without cause. Upon termination, the person reverts to guest status, and can be hosted by any Songaia resident.

Cohousing-l posting from Songaia
Douglas Larson, 20110223

"We have 3 levels of Associate membership at Songaia. In addition we have
renters, who could be considered a 4th level.

Our levels are
 Level 1 - Friend - Pays a donation
 Level 2 - Familiar - Pays $7.50 per month
 Level 3 - Proximal Resident - Pays $15 per month
 Renters - Pays $25 per month

The level 3 associates are only people who live on adjacent property.  Renters live on property.  Each level has certain rights and responsibilities with level 1 having the least and renters having the most. The rights and responsibilities of each level are cumulative, with each higher level having all the rights of the levels below it. The details of these rights is too complex to include here but I will send you a copy offline if you wish to see it (note:  policy is above this section).

Our current policy is about 3 years old now but we spent many hundreds of hours composing, revising and getting consensus on our Associate membership policy. I believe further revisions are in process now.

I am not sure exactly how many associate members we have but I would estimate it at about 15 or so. Three of those are renters who live on property."

Songaia sent this additional document on request:

Songaia Associate Participation Levels


Level One -- Friend


May be present on the property in common places without a host


Welcome to be in the Common House *


May receive email invitations to open Songaia events


May walk the trails on the Songaia property, and may help to maintain them


May participate in Thanksgiving, Earth Day (with RSVP), including help with prep or clean-up


May participate in Songaia social events by invitation


Encouraged to occasionally participate in the ongoing work of community


Level two – Familiar
includes all of level one, plus the following

$90.00/year ($7.50/month)

May participate part-time in food program under FFF guidelines **


Eligible to purchase bulk foods


May tend a personal garden plot (if available after owner/members choose) encouraged to assist with community garden  work


May participate in men’s and women’s events & circles (by invitation)


May participate in Songaia circles and retreats (by invitation)


Level Three – Proximal Resident (living on adjacent property)
 includes all of levels one and two, plus the following

$180.00/year ($15/month)

May participate full-time in the food program under FFF guidelines **


If in full-time food program, may use kitchen during “off hours” for personal meals/leftovers


May participate in monthly resident meetings (may include set-up/clean-up, scribing, or other active roles), committee activities, and decision processing except as limited by the Songaia bylaws (budgetary, capital expenditure, legal and permanent property restructuring actions are restricted to owner/members)


May secure household supplies through the Community Exchange


May use the common house for personal, non-Songaia events if co-hosted by a current Songaia owner or resident


May request use of a community guest room via email; reservation takes effect if no objections from owners/residents are raised within 4 days


May use the workshop and power tools after orientation and approval of Facilities group (under community guidelines for shared tools)


Songaia Resident (Roomer)
includes all of the above, plus the following

$300.00/year ($25/month)

May use community laundry room


May reserve common house facilities for exclusive personal use


May use personal storage space in the barn


May reserve use of community guest rooms


* Separate guidelines apply to use of Common House office and equipment, pottery coop and community vehicles. These activities are not part of this agreement.
** See Food Program consensus document for guidelines.

Pioneer Valley
North Amherst, Massachusetts, 32 homes on 22 acres, completed 1994
(Bruce and Jude visited this community in 2010 and learned about their program)

FYI:  Pioneer Valley has a cap of 15 (off-site) Associate Members; they currently (as of early 2011) have 8 Associate Members.

FYI:  CoHo adopted Pioneer Valley's HUB workshare model.

Excerpts from Pioneer Valley Cohousing Associate Member Program Logistics
[portions describing off-site Associate Members are included below]

An ASSOCIATE is a person who is actively involved with the community who fulfills certain responsibilities, which includes community work and, for off-site associates, a monthly fee.  These responsibilities are established in discussion with the membership team.  Associates have the right to participate in all aspects of the community including consensus decision-making except in the case of decisions that affect only unit owners. (10/15/06)


The number of Off-Site Associates is limited to 15. (10/02 DB)

To become an off-site associate, an individual must already be a participating member of the community, and send a written request for associate status to the membership team.  A copy of this letter will immediately be posted on the front bulletin board.

The membership team will meet with the individual to discuss the request.  In this meeting, the potential associate member and the membership team will discuss the proposed nature of the associate's involvement, including financial and work commitments.  The associate will be given appropriate information on consensus decision making.

The associate's letter and the agreement between the membership team and the associate will be posted on the community bulletin board.  No sooner than 30 days after the posting, the associate will attend a general meeting at which, unless there is major concern, acceptance will be noted in the meetings minutes.  Any major concerns should be discussed and resolved before the meeting at which the new person is expected to join the community.

To become an Associate of our community, we request that each household  make a contribution of time and money.

Rationale: Any friend of a community member is welcome to hang out in the community and join us for an occasional meal. People who wish to be incorporated more fully into the life of the community can become Associates.  Because of their contribution of time and money, we give Associates additional rights and privileges. These include:

  • A change in status from "visitor" to "part of the community"
  • Feeling welcome to participate in community meetings and events
  • Fully participating in the meal system for the same price as members
  • Having a charge account for community meals
  • Reserving common facilities (Common House Great Hall, kitchen, guest  rooms, play field, Annex, etc) for personal use
  • Use of tools, the library, kids room and playground, etc.
  • The right to gather a share of garden produce
  • Receiving all relevant memos sent to community members in folder of their own in the mail room, and join any and all community email lists.

In exchange, the community asks Associates to:

  • Work 4 hours/month on a work team or committee. Note: Community members have responsibilities of approximately 1 1/2 hours/week 6 ½ hours/month) plus committee work. Many members also contribute an additional 2-10 hours/month to support the functioning of the community.
  • Contribute $45 per month [note:  a more recent document lists fee as $50].  The financial contribution was calculated by figuring out the costs of running the Common house and the retreat and asking associate members to pay an equal share in those expenses, since they have full access to and use of the Common house and take part in the retreat.  We recognize that Associates benefit from other aspects of the community for which they are making no contribution, for example plowing, landscape, garden, road maintenance, etc. This amount is negotiable if necessary-we do not want the fee to become a barrier to someone who is an active participating member of the community.

All associates will be asked to sign the letter of understanding that waiting list applicants are required to sign.

All associates will be given a handbook, and will have a buddy to answer any questions not covered by the orientation process. Buddies will be found by membership requesting volunteers from the community.

[Note:  The following text is from a second document sent by Pioneer Valley.  The text is a proposal which was later adopted by the community and it is now policy at Pioneer Valley.]

1. Proposal from Membership Regarding Associates Fees and Work Requirement

Since the issue of associate member fees and work has been a continual issue in the community (decided on a case by case basis without much to go on in terms of real numbers, and with sketchy monitoring), the membership committee has decided to make a proposal for a policy regarding associate members fees and work.  In the process of looking for something that is simple and fair to the associate members and to residents, we have decided to look only at the cost of maintaining the Common house as the basis for the fee structure so that associate members do not have to duplicate costs that they have in their own homes, such as maintenance and plowing, etc.

It costs us $50 a day to run the Common house.  This is approximately 1/3 of our total budget.  Community members depending on their condo fee, pay on the average $50 per month for the common house.  We pay this whether or not we make use of the Common house, and do so because we all support our community in general, rather than paying for each benefit or service.

Since associates are truly members of our community, we believe that it would be fair to charge them similar amount since the same access to the Common house as residents.  As always, this would be subject to discussion if an associate member feels that this is not fair in their particular case.

So we propose that associate member fees be set at $50 per month, payable on the first of the month or late fee applies, or payable up front in January.

We made a community decision some years back that Associates members should work a minimum of 4 hours a month. This is 2/3 of the work expectation of residents, and reflects the fact that more than 2/3 of out community work load involves the common house and meals.

So we propose that associate members, to maintain their membership, must work 4 hours per month, As always, this is be subject to discussion if an associate member feels that this is not fair in their particular case.

New View Cohousing
Acton, Massachusetts, 24 homes on 20 acres, completed 1995

(NOTE: the term they use for Associate Members is "Community Member")
Community Membership
What is a New View “Community Member”?
Community members are non-resident members who may participate fully in most aspects of New View: meals, social events, email, committees, meetings, and use of the common house. Community members may not block consensus in steering committee elections, condo budget decisions or any other matter deemed to be "condo-only" by the steering committee.
Community Member participation includes access to all common areas, including the common house, on the same basis as resident condo members; a community mail cubby; the right to sign up for New View common meals as diners, cooks, and clean-up crew; access to New View email lists; the right to reserve the common house for events in the same way as condo members.

The "Rights and Responsibilities" agreement of New View, and alternative dispute resolution guidelines, apply to Community Membership.

How Do I Become A “Community Member?”
Potential Community Member households must first become Friends of New View for three months. After that period, the household notifies the Steering Committee of its wish to become a Community Member. The Steering Committee will notify the community by e-mail and mailbox that a household has met the eligibility requirements and has applied for Community Member status. Their application for membership will then be discussed for consensus at a subsequent meeting.

What is the Community Membership Fee?
The Finance Committee, with approval by the entire community, sets Community Membership Fees. As of 2005, the annual fee is $600.

How are Community Memberships Suspended?
A household can remove itself from 'Community Member' status at any time by notifying the Steering Committee; any prorated fees will be refunded. The New View community reserves the right to remove households from Community Membership; this would require the consensus of all condo and community members, or a fallback to voting as described in the New View bylaws.

Rocky Hill Cohousing
Northampton, Massachusetts, 28 units on 28 acres, completed?
Posting on national cohousing list serv
Dorothy Riehm

"I am chair of the Membership Committee at Rocky Hill Cohousing.  We would like to know how other communities handle Associate Members.  We are particularly interested in individuals or families who live outside the cohousing community but would like to participate in it's life, and possibly decision making.  Do you charge a fee, do they come to regular meetings, are they voted in by the group, do you have an application process, or recruitment strategy, benefits for both parties, etc.

In addition to these questions, we would like to know how you deal with  resident Associate Members. We have several renters and also five households who are Associate Members by the fact that they live on the road coming up to our community.  These five households do pay a monthly fee for the use of our Common House, and most of them and the renters participate as much as our regular members.  However we have no clear-cut rule for their participation in our voting process.

Any information of the above subject would be greatly appreciated."

Daybreak Cohousing
Portland, Oregon, 30 homes on 1 acre, completed 2009
Posting on cohousing national list serv
Ken Cameron-Bell 20110223

"At Daybreak Cohousing we have Members, Associate members, and Friends of Daybreak.  Members are residents and have full participatory and decision-making rights and responsibilities. Associate members have participatory rights and responsibilities, but are not decision-makers.

Members give approval for new associate members as they do for new members.

Friends are those interested in Daybreak and are encouraged to participate in special events and activities, but are not active on teams and decisions."

Manzanita Village
Prescott, Arizona, 36 units on 13 acres
Posting on cohousing national list serv
drmaryanngroups 20110223

"I live at Manzanita Village in Prescott Arizona. Our associate members are called Area Villagers. They are folk who live in the area but not on the property. Currently two households live adjacent to the Village and one lives a little over a mile away. They pay a membership fee to join the Village and monthly dues equal to one half of the dues for a homeowner. By law we are an HOA so each property pays a membership fee when the property is first sold. The fee slides depending on the number of adults living on the property. Once membership has been paid on a property it is not assessed to subsequent owners unless they need to add additional adults, up to a limit of three. Each property is assessed monthly dues that forms the basis of our annual budget.   Dues on rental properties are paid by the owner.

Everyone living on the property, all homeowners and all area villagers are members of the Village and can participate in the decision-making of the Village. We use a pretty strict version of consensus that allows everyone a voice in decisions. The only exceptions are certain decisions that according to state law must be made by the homeowners. These include changes in dues above a certain percentage, special assessments, election of the (titulary) HOA Board, revising the CC&R. These require a majority vote of the homeowners but happen rarely.  We only have three AreaVillages households (5 members) and currently have close that category to new members. Although we could agree to re-open it in the future."

Appendix C:
Links to Themes From Long-Range Planning Process

The affiliates programs link to topics raised in our long-range planning process.

Step 1 - Appreciative Inquiry
The affiliates programs support the theme of outreach to the greater community (shown in blue).

The following graph shows the percentages of responses to the four major themes for each of the four questions on the Appreciative Inquiry survey.

While the Outreach theme was a very small percentage of what CoHoots saw as "working well at CoHo," it was seen as a vital element in our purpose as a cohousing community.  CoHoots also listed a higher percentage of Outreach themes when responding to the questions about individual and community efforts in the next year.

Step 1 - Clues Behind Successes
The affiliates programs tap into factors that contribute to the success of projects at CoHo...
Community-building, inclusive and welcoming
Well organized, structure and system in place
Meets shared needs

Step 2 - Purpose Statement

We partner as ecovillage neighbors to
• enrich our lives and refresh our spirits through connection and cooperation
• meet economic and environmental challenges with creativity and resilience
• share the power of community to cultivate social and ecological sustainability
within CoHo, the broader community, and the world

The affiliates programs fulfill every part of our Purpose Statement by expanding our "partnership" to non residents, enriching lives through connection/cooperation, meeting challenges, and sharing the power of community with the broader community.

Step 3 - SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats)
The affiliates programs...

  • build on our strengths (commitment to working together, family-friendly village)
  • balance our weaknesses (declining participation, less-active residents, lack of time, stress-filled lives)
  • address a weakness (lack of socioeconomic diversity)
  • tap into opportunities (increasing interest in cohousing)
  • address financial threats (potential loss of jobs or homes)
  • address threat of influx of people seeking resources/help (clearly-defined, positive, inclusive response to challenging times)

Step 4 - Goals and Projects
The affiliates programs provide more resources--people/time/skills/energy/money.

HUB reports CoHoots are all working at levels that work for them AND we recently added new items to our collective "to do list" as part of the long-range planning process.


Appendix D:
Tiki Access

Calendar access for Affiliates:




View only

Post/edit entries

Activities/Events (social)

View only

Post/edit entries



Yes; birthdays also listed

CoHoot Birthdays


Post/edit entries

CoHoots in absentia


Post/edit entries

Guest Room (overnight)

Yes, if on meal software

Yes, if on meal software

Meal Program (when meal program feature is added to Tiki, this will be the only access to the meal calendar)

View only

View only

Friends of CoHo Bios/Photos

View only

View only

Caregiver Bios/Photos


Post/edit entries

Visitors Calendar

As Tiki is expanded, we anticipate adding the following:





Post/edit entries

Archives of files/documents/minutes, etc.

Revisions documented:

20110925        Revised Appendix E (now D):  Tiki Access to reflect changes in Tiki calendars.  Calendar "Activities/Events/Meetings" was split into "Activities/Events (social)" calendar and "Meetings" calendar.

20111010        Revised Appendix E (now D):  Added Renter Bios/Photos section and changed access so that Friends and Associate Members could "view only" all bios/photos.

20121021        Community photos are now in blog, not in Tiki, so removed that line

20121021        Renter bios/photos now posted on website, so removed that line

20121021        Added Friends of CoHo and Caregiver bios/photos to Tiki (had been listed in future Tiki categories)

20121021        Revised so Friends cannot view CoHoot birthdays