There are several categories of membership in the community:
- Member households are families and individuals who own and live in their units permanently. People on the waiting list have completed the requirements for membership and are waiting to buy houses as they become available.
- Associates are active in community life and contribute work, support and a regular fee to the community but do not own a house here.
- Renters are temporary residents, living in the homes of member households. Most renters participate to some degree in community life and are able to become associates.
Steps for the Waiting List
If you decide to get onto the waiting list, and want to begin to follow these steps, contact Barb April at 413-549-3655, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be your contact person through the process.
Read the welcome package material
This includes basic information on our community and on consensus decision making.
Arrange a community tour
Call John Porcino at 413 549-5448 to arrange a community tour to ask your questions and to go over the basic dynamics of the community. He can also arrange for you to come to a community meal.
Send a dated letter to Barb April, 120 Pulpit Hill Rd #1, Amherst, MA 01002 to announce your intentions to start the process for community membership.
Arrange a Buddy
Membership committee will find someone in the community who will be a “buddy” for social and community purposes. This will give you someone to call, hang out with at meetings, and to ask questions about community life.
“Get to know you” Meeting
You or your buddy announce at the opening circle of a dinner at the Common House that you will be available for a “Get to know you” meeting after dinner. This meeting is an informal conversation. It may be attended by one to five or more people, and may last from 15 to 45 minutes. The purpose is for community people to begin to get to know you.
Attend at least one entire General Meeting
Attending a meeting is a good way to get to know how we work together. Since we make decisions by consensus, it is important to us that you understand what that means and feels like. It is necessary that all adult members of a household attend at least one meeting. At this meeting, you should formally announce your intention to join the waiting list.
Membership Committee will provide you with written information on the consensus process and all of the agreements we have made over the years that govern community life. After you have read these, contact Barb April (email@example.com) and arrange a time to meet with a couple of members of membership committee. They will go over this information with you, ask you questions, and answer any questions you have. The purpose of this meeting is to make sure that you know everything you can about our community: the way we live, and what we expect from each other before you make any commitment.
Pay the refundable $500
This is to demonstrate real intention to buy a house if one comes available. It can be refunded any time you no longer want to be on the list, and can be the deposit on a house. Check should be made out to Robin Luberoff.
Welcome to Pioneer Valley Cohousing!
You will be officially welcomed at the first possible opportunity-a meeting or a meal or both.
Although this may look long and complicated, people have found it to be fun and a good way to get more involved with our community. If any part of this list will be hard for you to do, just let us know and we will work something out. The intent of it all is to make sure you know us and we know you so that you will be happy here.
Sign a waiting list agreement
This is a page to the effect that you understand what we have told you about our community, know what you are getting into, and have agree to it.
Acceptance into the Waiting List
Post a written request for acceptance into the waiting list on the agenda (on the bulletin board) for a General Meeting after you have completed the above steps. If any community member has concerns about your potential membership they are supposed to talk directly with you, and/or talk with the Membership Committee. Issues or concerns will be dealt with prior the General Meeting. Acceptance is formally noted at the General Meeting, and your name is added to the waiting list.
If a home is for sale, you will be notified by email. If a member of the community wants to buy the house, they have first option. Then their house would become available and you would be notified by email once again. The community is currently in the process of re-examining our waiting list policy, and we will notify you of any decisions we make.