Cohabitants include tenants, the current owner (me) and guests (friends or paying BnB guests). I am generally engaged in growing food at home and working on something at home or outside related to sustainability or the caring profession. Garden bed allotments are available to others living in the house and further involvement in growing food is welcomed. The rooms are not large so usually a short to mid-term stay works; the average stay has been about 6 months. Key goals here are maximizing sustainability, self-sufficiency and minimizing support for the detrimental industrial food and monetary systems.
Newcomers go through a familiarization process that is common to many cohousing and intentional communities; you’ll be introduced to the household; people who want to create, with you, a happy, harmonious, clean, orderly, fair and friendly place to live. There is usually a fluctuating population whose age, sex, sexuality, ethnicity and profession matter less than their character and personality… where differences may be accommodated through being open to learning and a genuine interest in sharing perspectives respectfully and humoring our quirks. English is the common language.
Before moving in, joining our meals, tea times and gardening is a good first step. Moving in is dependent on circumstances, and always probationary until confirmation by signing an on-going tenancy lease – an agreement contract. The first fortnight is a trial period, after which we reassess and discuss if things are working out according to our expectations. If not, and we can’t resolve the differences, the trial ends. If so, a 1 month period follows during which we really get to know each other and have on-going discussions of details of the agreement as a lived experience. We see if it’s possible to resolve the differences before ending the agreement. You can deselect and leave at any time without notice. If agreement is reached, we sign a contract. I reserve the right to ask any guest to leave for any reason. 3 month reviews continue indefinitely and there may be regular household meetings to discuss any issues we are having.
In keeping with the above goals, we produce and provide food from the garden. Each room includes a 1 x 2m raised wicking bed and almost everything you need get your veges started. There’s a lot to permaculture and organic gardening, so we can teach each other. We share meals sometimes and if you want to be involved in the rest of the garden, tasks can be coordinated. Rental income and my labour goes into providing the means and opportunity to produce a variety of fresh and preserved pantry food. Ongoing expenses include tools, fertlizers, soil and many other things that a garden requires. The garden is there for you to make the most of. The proceeds from produce that is sold outside (to a local food coop like FoodConnect) goes toward ongoing expenses.
Maintenance & Management
Everyone benefits from a well-cared-for home, no matter how long or short their tenure. Cleanliness, orderliness and aesthetics are things that contribute to a shared sense of well-being. The ideal housemate – be they tenant or potential resident – is someone who facilitates this rather than impedes it. Whilst ownership remains in my hands, I provide the funds for maintenance, but not all the hands.
Communication, decisions and working together
Communication is the key to good relationships and pre-empting conflicts. Non-violent communication is central to successfully managing differences of style and personality. We meet to discuss how we’re going as scheduled or when there is a felt need and start with uninterrupted listening in turns. We also share meals informally. When making a decision that affects others, consult them. If you feel an issue rising, seek a way to broach it with the individual concerned. Don’t approach me first to complain or arbitrate. If necessary, call a meeting to discuss the matter.
The rent is comparable to market rates and adjusted by negotiation. The costs of covering accommodation are transparent and book-keeping done every month.
If you think some time living here might be for you, please enquire.
A one-week internship at guest rates is available to find out what it’s like to live sustainably in the suburbs. Please enquire.
When there’s a perceived need for detailed accounting of produce there is a home-grown, in-house system which I have dubbed “TemptyTrust” and utilises the Community Exchange Network online. The purpose of this system is to manage quantities when the need arises. It can provide a means to account for consumption and contribution.
Woofers and HelpXers have been visiting and joining the household since January, 2013. Here they have found acceptance, good quality accommodation, company, food and interesting activities. To become a part of it, read the descriptive guidelines to see if you are a suitable candidate, then make an enquiry via the Contact form here.
You can find the same information by looking up Host 20066 on HelpX
Foreign visitors should show their passport and visa, and provide contact details of a friend or relative for emergencies. Equanimity Foundation is covered by Queensland Householder Workers’ Insurance.