Cohousing on an established property shortcuts only some difficulties
Cohousing on an established property shortcuts some of the difficulties facing bigger community building projects. It’s difficult to conceive how many hours it takes to set up, plan around multiple needs/ ideas and then build a community – until you’ve lived the journey.
It is not for the faint hearted. It is for people who are so determined and dedicated to the vision of building communities that their whole life is consumed for many years before openings can be offered to new people to join in.
People have often endured quite unbearable living conditions while they build. The community who built Boekel, lived in shipping containers through winters that had a maximum of 0 degrees or less. It takes years of research and planning before even the land is bought.
Probation period of volunteering benefits the volunteers greatly
This is why communities like Boekel have established the probation period of volunteering so that people go into the situation with a lived experience, and are sure beforehand that it’s the lifestyle they want to participate in. There is always a limited number of places available, and not long before a waiting list begins. Smaller projects don’t have waiting lists.
Most founders of sustainable communities would square the 8 on the hours per week to come close to the time that they have dedicated to planning, raising investment money, gathering committed people together, negotiating varied wishes, planning and then building. Sometimes life crises occur and the project is delayed costing more in bank loans’ interest and adding to the risk that the founders have already undertaken.
I had the privilege of spending some time at Boekel just before they began building. We met again 3 years later after the world opened up following the pandemic. Both our projects were not completed due to worker and building materials shortages. Some people even die before their project becomes a reality.
The most common feedback I’ve heard when listening to other communities’ development process was “We never expected the amount of time, setbacks and work it would take to set this up!”
It’s true – when we listen to someone else’s presentation, read blogs or watch videos; we really have no idea until we start out own project.
Read about some of the Boekel founder’s story