Harrisonburg Cohousing Membership

If you’ve attended a few cohousing events and explored the cohousing concept, and you think cohousing might be for you, the first step toward membership is joining as an Associate Member. After participating and learning more as an associate member, you can choose to become an Equity Member with full voting rights and can purchase a dwelling in the neighborhood. We are not looking for “perfect” members. We are far from perfect ourselves! Instead, we seek people who share a similar vision and appear to be a good match for the successful creation of our community.

Associate Membership

The purpose of associate membership is to give you a low-risk opportunity to see whether cohousing is the right “fit” and if you like the people who could be your potential new neighbors. Associate members are active members and are involved in committee and business (aka full group) meetings, but are not eligible to vote on group decisions. As an associate member you will get to know others in the community, understand our plans, our budgets, our requirements for contributions, and the risks attached to those contributions. There is a $150 (non-refundable) fee for a household associate membership that can be credited toward your equity membership if you choose to move to the next level (and we hope you will!). This membership  extends three (3) months at which time you may choose to renew your membership or move forward as an Equity Member.

To become an Associate Member you must do the following:

  • Become familiar with our website, especially our visioning documents and meeting schedule
  • Attend at least one meeting (held on the 2nd Monday of each month)
  • Meet with at least one equity member household to discuss your interest in cohousing
  • Begin reading Creating Cohousing by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett (especially parts 1, 4, & 5)
  • Complete the associate member application form
  • Sign the associate membership agreement and pay the $150 fee.

Rights and Responsibilities of an Associate Member:

  • Attend Harrisonburg Cohousing meetings
  • Participate in planning committees
  • Voice opinions in meetings

Equity Membership

Equity members are people who have decided to purchase a dwelling in our cohousing neighborhood. They contribute money to the project as needed. Equity members can vote on all group decisions and will choose lots/dwelling units in the order in which they join.

To become an Equity Member you must do the following:

  • As an associate member, attend at least two regular member meetings
  • Join and participate in a committee
  • With the help of a member guide, become familiar with our decision process, decision log, and disclosure of risks
  • Attend a land viewing with seasoned members
  • Prequalify for financing or outright purchase for desired unit size
  • Complete the equity member application form
  • Be approved by the existing members
  • Sign the equity membership agreement and pay the initial $1,000 capital contribution and subsequent member loans.

Rights and Responsibilities of an Equity Member:

  • Attend Harrisonburg Cohousing meetings
  • Participate in planning committees
  • Voice opinions and make decisions that shape the direction of the group
  • Support, as you are able, the funding of Harrisonburg Cohousing with member loans that come with benefits under the Member Incentive Plan
  • Choose a dwelling unit according to membership seniority