State-of-play and next steps

Dear @reeflings ,

So this Saturday Alberto and I dropped by at Sabine and Malcolm’s place to catch up on the dinner that we missed (apologies again!). Just for the sake of transparency, here’s a quick record of what we discussed and reflected upon.

In terms of milestones it was said that being ready to go to a property hunter with a list of concrete parameters before Christmas is probably an ambitious goal, but why not try to go for it.
To get there we would basically need to do three things:

  1. Invest in group building and getting to know each other,
  2. Visit other co-housings to refine our ideas about what it is that we want for the Reef,
  3. Get in touch with Cohousing Projects.

Here are a couple of further notes for each of these three points:

1. Investing in group building and getting to know each other

  • For group building it was suggested to start organising monthly Reef dinners, preferably on a predictable date (e.g. every second Tuesday of the month).

  • However we decide to organise this (alternating hosts or whatever) I think it’s important to make it clear upfront that this should be a low stress undertaking. We all have enough on our plates already, so nobody should feel the pressure to impress.The purpose is to get together, so any simple meal - home made or ordered in - will do.

  • For practical purposes (and mostly short notice communication) Sabine has set up a Signal group. If you are not yet in it, please reach out to her in a private message.

  • On our way back Alberto and I made the reflection that the stage we are currently in - trying to get to a more precise definition of parameters (where we want to live etc) - risks to become very complicated if the group becomes too big. Noting that this is just the beginning of a long process during which the group can grow organically and that the likelihood of not finding enough co-housers is rather small, we thought it would be good to not expand the group too much at this stage. Of course everybody is more than welcome to join, but if you would like to proactively add people to the group at this stage, we thought that it might be appreciated if this is done with the current group’s consensus.

2. Visiting other co-housings to learn from them and refine our ideas

  • Initially my idea was to go on some sort of “field trip” and visit several co-housings in one go, but on second thoughts this does not seem very realistic.

  • As an alternative what we could do is reach out to some co-housings individually and ask them whether they would have some time for us. If they do, we could ask them to propose 2-3 moments during which they are available and then pick the one that suits a reasonable amount of us (who can then report back to those who missed it).

  • I myself will reach out to De Okelaar (July), Brutopia (September, through a common friend) and if I find the time to La Montagne.

  • Not really a co-housing, but Alberto will reach out to a friend who might have a lot of expertise to share on a relevant project in Brussels.

  • As with the monthly dinners I think it’s important that this is remains a no-stress undertaking. So feel free to join in, feel free to reach out to a co-housing (please let everybody know though), but please don’t feel pressured if you don’t find the time.

3. Getting in touch with Cohousing Projects

  • For transparency: I called them up once more, to inquire about the process and some specifics about acquiring a site or building. They said they are ready to set up a meeting to introduce us to their way of working any time.

  • Personally I think it’s important though that we know a bit better what it is that we are looking for / trying to build, so I would strongly prefer to hold this off for a bit for the time being.

So that would be my modest account of where we currently stand, but please feel free of course to share your thoughts and/or add or correct anything I may have missed.




This is fantastic work. I completely agree.

Agree, again. On top of that, if Cohousing Projects sees us as a chaotic, incoherent group, they might be hesitant whether to work with us. I would still welcome motivated people who are a clear fit, but yes, please check with the group before inducing anyone new!

Meanwhile, @Sabine_B_Frank, I took the liberty of redacting your address here. You can always change your posts, just click on the tree-dots icon at the bottom of a post, then on the pencil icon.

Thank you @Lee for the excellent summary. Sounds great, working on the next steps. stay tuned @reeflings :deciduous_tree:

Thank you indeed @Lee for your great summary. If not speaking Dutch isn’t a problem, Malcolm and I would be interested in joining you for the visit of de Okelaar in July. In terms of more getting to know each other, may be other @reeflings might like to join and we could make it a day outing by bike (we reckon about 20 km one way), so our appointment there would have to be around 2pm. We would be happy to research the bike route.

Hi @Sabine_B_Frank,

The idea of a bike ride is lovely. Unfortunately though both Alberto and I are physically not in a very cyclable state for the moment :unamused:.

I’ll keep you posted as soon as I get a reply from the Okelaars.