11. What is your living situation like? What would you like it to be?
Currently I live with my partner (Trydaen) and three other roommates (my ex-girlfriend – Butterfly, her current partner – Heinlein, and another ex of hers – Artist. Trydaen is also her ex-partner. So basically Butterfly is only living with people who are or have had sex with her). There’s a bit of strife and conflict, but we mostly exist together peacefully.
The rent is paid through an LLC that was set up for this house and another house. Most of the folks who live in the other house used to live in our house, but moved out shortly after Heinlein moved in (because of severe personality conflicts). The LLC collects and pays rent and utilities.
The LLC is now also collecting money for a future recombined communal living house (Sans Heinlein – that was one of the only conditions – if Butterfly is still with him and wants to live with him at the point this becomes a reality, she will also be excluded. That condition has been made clear to her.). We are in the beginning stages of running the LLC and just starting to collect money for financing and building/renovating a house for us all to live in. This plan is years down the line – we were aiming for five, but with finances the way they are, that’s probably underestimating things.
This plan required a lot of hard thinking on all our parts, with lots of questions.
- First and foremost – Do we/I think that we can tolerate living with the other people in the group for the remainder of our lives, no matter what changes happen in our relationships? The general consensus seems to be yes. This is a gigantic commitment, I think even larger than any individual relationship. That’s the great thing about being part of a corporation – the corporation will live on, no matter what happens with the people within.
- What kind of structure do we want? What do we want/need in that structure? What accommodations do we think we’ll need for when we get older/retire? How do we make this house feel like home for all of us?
- How do we resolve our disagreements about the LLC and about the house? How do we maintain our consensus agreement (written into our official operating agreement – we’re all that serious about the idea of consensus being important)?
- How can people remove themselves from the LLC if they want to or if we need to remove someone for health or sanity reasons? What do they get back from the LLC money-wise if they leave?
- How do we want to handle membership in the house and LLC (may not necessarily be the same)? How do we give power to those who have invested equity into the house to make decisions that affect their money without disenfranchising those who can’t or won’t invest, but still want to be part of the house/LLC? How much money does a person have to invest in equity and how often, to remain an equity member? How do we justly parcel out power and not just do so according to who put the most money in?
- How will we handle guests, visitors, and outside partners? What say, if any, will outside partners get in the house?
And so much more….
This house is my hope for the future. I do not know what the state of my relationships with my current partners will be when this house is completed. But this…this I can commit to for the rest of my life.