There is a growing interest in intentional community around the country, with a concentrated interest here in Asheville. The list of reasons are many, with mutual support right up at the top. Many people have realized for some time that our culture has, in many ways, lost a sense of community – next door neighbors often don’t even know each other. We also struggle with many physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that are exasperated by this loss of community. We struggle with finances, relationships, parenting, aging, etc. – most of all we want to know and be known.
The current social, economic, and environmental conditions in the world have put a spot light on some of these needs and brought an interest in community to the forefront of many peoples minds. At the same time, there is a growing inventory of large houses for sale with owners that are seriously looking for a solution to payments they cannot afford. Many of these houses can be renovated to provide a great balance of private and shared space. Many of these houses can also provide affordable rental and/or purchase options.
As we are working on other projects to help facilitate community building, we have started to focus some hands on attention to this opportunity. We are in the midst of transforming a 3500 sq.ft house, in a great North Asheville neighborhood, into a home for five adults. This wonderful house is a near perfect canvas to co-create this win / win solution. It was easily transformed into four independent suites of 300 to 650 square feet, each with a full bath. It also has large amount of common space which includes a kitchen/dining/living area with fireplace, a great screened in porch, and potential studio / shop space. The house also has an owner that is excited about the opportunity to relieve the stress of a deflated real estate market while meeting the needs of a great group of people.
To insure the best possible experience for everyone, we are establishing this household on a foundation that encourages healthy communication. We are beginning everything with the Blueprint of We - our relationship with the owner as well as the relationship between the residents. We will also be facilitating monthly meeting with the residents to encourage the consent based decision making of Dynamic Governance (sociocracy) and the principles of compassionate communication. Laurie and I will also be participating in this household – at least until our proposed cottage community project is up and running.
If you are interested in this type of community, contact us for more information or assistance in exploring other shared housing possibilities. Also, feel free to join us as we establish a special interest group for shared housing. Along with one of our housemates, Marianne Kilkenny, who has worked to encourage community through Asheville Community Network and Women Living In Community for several years, we are facilitating a networking and informational meeting next Sunday, February 27 at 2PM. You can find more information and register here.