Building a waiting pool

By Eve Tibber, Cannock Mill Cohousing

“Happy cohousing is looking for members with healthy sense of humour and good gardening skills”

It may seem odd that one of the first actions of our cohousing community after moving in will be to open a waiting pool for new members. Regrettably, our experience has been that even the most loyal members may have to move away and new members have to be found. Instead of rushing to meet new potential cohousers, we have chosen to build close relationships with people interested in joining us some day. As a bonus for those seeking to add their name to the pool, one house has been liberated recently and is pining for a new cohousing owner.

There are many factors that contribute to a satisfying relationship, being co-living for couples or co-housing for a community. True, intimacy has been the traditional glue of the former but a sense of humour, love of heated discussion, or singing together after a shared meal are excellent glue for the latter. I have personally found that the process of consensus decision making is also excellent cement for a community.

The process of seeking a win-win decision beneficial to all awakens a sweet feeling of togetherness. To get a consensus, we have to listen to each other, communicate truthfully and honestly, forget our ego – difficult but not impossible, a form of meditation for the soul. Like hugging, taking collectively thoughtful decisions seems to produce oxytocin, a hormone that promotes social bonding.

It would be unfair to expect new cohousing members to jump in and share our communal expectation without prior experience of our communal living. That is why we are creating a pool of friends of Cannock Mill. The aim is that new residents will be old friends by the time they move in when a house is made available, as one is from just a few days ago.

Our open meeting in September is designed specially to enable anyone considering cohousing, whether sooner or later, to find out more about living in cohousing and help them decide if they’d like to join our waiting pool and so become a friend of Cannock Mill. Details are:

Cannock Mill Cohousing Discovery Event
Date: Saturday September 29
Time: 12.30pm – 4.15pm to include a ‘bring and share’ lunch
Venue: Second Home Spitalfields, 68-80 Hanbury Street, London E1 5JL

Entry is free, but please register in advance by emailing David on

Cannock Mill Cohousing

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