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Cooperative Communities Have you ever considered living in a cooperative community For most of us the question most likely has not even crossed our minds Yet for a growing number of people this question has been considered and many are choosing cooperative communities as an alternative to other forms of housing like condominiums Religious cooperative communities like the Mount Madonna Center which is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains offer many positive benefits for its members Financial benefits and a structured daily schedule are desirable to many of its members as well as the spiritual well being experienced while participation in their Yoga Service and Community programs Cooperative communities have been around since the 1800s and will continue into the twenty first century as alternatives to the prevailing popular social order Of all the different types of cooperative communities religious based cooperatives have been the most successful and longest lasting During the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic church had established monasteries all over Europe Encyclopedia Encarta Some of these European monasteries are still in existence today Certain sects were persecuted during the Protestant Reformation causing a wave of communal movements Some of these fleeing groups made their way to America where accessible land and political freedom encouraged social experiments like cooperatives A few of these groups such as the Shakers have survived today although in very small numbers Cooperative communities can be a cost effective alternative to renting an apartment or owning a condominium According to The World Book Encyclopedia a cooperative most commonly consists of an apartment or housing complex where the residents from a nonprofit corporation to plan finance build and manage the apartment buildings or houses in which they live Volume 9 357 When a cooperative buys or builds a housing complex individuals can buy shares in the corporation just like buying shares in any other company but these shares entitle the owner to occupy a particular apartment or house within the
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