News from Ravens' Roost - Anchorage's First Cohousing Neighborhood
How would 35 households make decisions?
Most cohousing decisions are delegated to smaller teams, who create proposals that the large group either approves or sends back for modification. From pet policy to landscaping choices, consensus is the most common decision-making method.
Consensus decision-making requires that all voices are heard, which often results in more information being considered. This often prevents the poor decisions for which conventional Homeowner Association Boards are notorious. It also creates more buy-in to the final decision.
Consensus is not necessarily unanimity. A consensus decision is one that everyone can live with -- it often includes modifications made by those who did not agree with the original proposal. These collaborative solutions can have an elegance and creativity that is only possible through collective wisdom.
Consensus decision-making allows any member to block a proposal. Blocks are not to be made lightly or selfishly, though -- they are appropriate only when a member sincerely feels that a proposal violates the stated core values of the group, or will not be good for the group in the long term.
Those who have an unhealthy need for control generally do not join cohousing because the word "consensus" sends them running.
Please feel free to ask us more about our decision-making process, or anything else, on our Contact Us page.
Nancy Felton and Chris Allard recently joined us as equity members, and we are thrilled to have them! Learn more about them on our member bio page on our web site, and look for an interview with them in our next newsletter.
Join us for delicious food, great company, and good conversation. Learn more, informally, about who we are, and what it's like to live in cohousing. We are grateful to the Universalist Fellowship for letting us use their space.
We will be having potluck dinners on the first Sunday of each month until summer.