Cost of Living in Cohousing - Data Solicitation

Cohousing Friends —

Coho Cost of Living Data Solicitation. Back in November, we announced that the Cohousing Research Network (CRN) and CohoUS are collaborating on a “cost of living in cohousing” research project. Since then, we’ve received useful and interesting responses from more than a dozen communities. Who knew, for instance, that annual per-unit dues could vary from one coho to another by a factor of five or more? Our intent is to continue collecting detailed information on community budget and finance, and make a report at the CohoUS National Conference in May 2017, in Nashville.

How You Can Help. For this research project, we’ve not designed any long questionnaire or laborious form requiring you to make unique calculations. Our methodology is much simpler: Just send us your stuff. The same stuff your community and its members rely upon for budget and finance matters. In particular, what would be useful to us are ...

◆ Your most recently adopted annual budget agreement, as consensed by your community before the beginning of the fiscal year. For most of you, this will be the same as the calendar year, ending in December 2017 (thus, FY17). We’d like to see the whole proposal you processed and adopted, including schedule/timeline, text narratives, tables of numbers — whatever it was you considered during the budget adoption process. We do NOT need to see any information about the fees or dues assigned to individual units.

◆ If you have one, any EOY (end of year) financial report you obtained for the previous fiscal year (probably FY16 ending in December 2016). Again, take out any unit-specific information. When we have this material in hand, we will translate the data into our own analytic model, lump it together with other data, and analyze it to expose patterns and develop conclusions we think will be useful to all cohousing communities.

e-mail to costofliving [at] cohousingresearchnetwork [dot] org

Confidentiality. Anything you send us will be guarded in strict confidence. Only the conference panelists and members of the CRN Steering Committee will have any access to your original files. Your community’s detailed information will NOT be shared with consultants, vendors, or even the Board of CohoUS, and none of our public reports will be in a form where the particulars of your community can be identified.

Questions or Comments? We continue to contact many of the communities in our cohousing directory, but we encourage you to reply to us now. If you are ready to volunteer information, you can e- mail to costofliving [at] cohousingresearchnetwork [dot] org. Or, if you have questions or comments, please get in touch with either of us.

Thanks in advance for supporting a project that should benefit you and your community, and many other intentional communities as well.

Sincerely,
Philip Dowds Coho US Board (Treasurer) rpdowds [at] comcast [dot] net / 617.460.4549
Angela Sanguinetti CRN Director • cohousingresearchnetwork.org angelasanguinetti [at] gmail [dot] com

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