CoHousing Solutions Newsletter | December 2017 
Happy Holidays, everyone! The CoHousing Solutions Team is glad to share community news:

  • Katie's Insights: The Cycle of Life (as seen through cohousing)
  • The 500 Communities Program is Taking Root
  • Interview on Senior Cohousing with PDX Commons founding member, Lew Bowers
  • Cohousing updates: Raven's Roost Recognized for energy efficiency and planning achievements, Fair Oaks EcoHousing Construction Loan Signing, Spokane Cohousing wraps up their Common House Design/Programming Workshop

We hope you are blessed this season with an abundance of peace and community!
Katie's Insights on "The Cycle of Life"
As seen through the lens of cohousing...
As we approach the Winter Solstice, I’ve been thinking of the full cycle of life we get to experience here in my intergenerational community, Nevada City Cohousing. I suspect that I am not the only one that finds this to be one of the more profound appreciations for living in community, for ourselves and for our children. 
The Winter Solstice Spiral is a beloved tradition at Nevada City Cohousing that inspires contemplation on every stage of life...
In the last weeks my community has been holding so much love for so many. For one neighbor who recently died, too young as she was just in her early 50’s, the community has been there to support her and her family in any way we can. And in return she shared and taught us so much. Another neighbor mentioned that her mother, who lives a few blocks away, had become close with this woman, and that sharing her passing has opened up an opportunity to talk with her mother about death. “What a gift (our neighbor) has given me,” she tells me. 

On a recent Saturday night, another neighbor held his 46th birthday party in the common house with a rock-and-roll band made up of his fellow junior high teachers. Softening us up, he fed the community tacos and his new home-brew, made from hops grown here and brewed in the common house. Can’t get much more local than that! And that also helped to soften any complaints about the rock and roll band later…good technique.
And then Sunday afternoon, all the women of the community, from 3 to 80, gathered in the common house to celebrate another neighbor’s pregnancy. We are all so excited to have a new baby coming! We shared stories, wishes, cake and tea. One neighbor is coordinating our community quilt for the baby. Another neighbor is knitting blankets for the new baby, and the baby’s older brother, while she worries about her husband’s cancer returning. 

In cohousing, all of these major life events can happen at home with much support support from the community.
I feel immersed in the full cycle/circle of life, and blessed to share it with so many lovely neighbors. May you and yours also be so blessed in community for the solstice and the winter holidays. 
The 500 Communities Program is Taking Root
We’re pleased to announce that the 500 Communities Program has officially completed it’s second year! There are now 10 Affiliates of the program, growing this rich network of cohousing professionals.
Photo: 2016 Program Trainees with Katie McCamant during the Orientation in Nevada City, CA
The 500 Communities Program is planting seeds - or rather Certified Cohousing Consultants - in all different parts of the country! These motivated professionals are going out in the world to help germinate, foster, and support cohousing communities. With the instruction and guidance of CoHousing Solutions President Katie McCamant, they are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to spur the cohousing development forward (and make a living while doing so).  
The year-long training includes monthly curriculum calls lead by Katie, where the students are given a plethora of valuable information about cohousing development. The program starts with marketing and outreach, site search, project feasibility, and cultivating local developers. Then they move into group formation, structuring budgets and investments, and understanding cash flow. Towards the end of the year, they are trained on working through political approvals, what you need to know about getting mortgages for your buyers, and all aspects of construction management. (To see it broken down month by month, check out the program syllabus).

All of this information provides necessary nourishment for cohousing development, though the real “digestion” of this information is actually going out there and doing it! We’ll be updating you on what the graduates are up to in the upcoming months. Stay tuned!
Many of these trainees are continuing their official relationship and collaboration with CoHousing Solutions as “Affiliates” and receive Katie’s depth of cohousing development knowledge and expertise, as well as one-on-one calls for personalized advice.  
If you are motivated to push the cohousing movement forward...
But you need the tools, resources, guidance, and support necessary to do so, consider applying for the next year of training in the 500 Communities Program! Applications will be due in June 2018. Class starts September 2018.
How to Avoid Social Isolation as You Age?
Interview with Lew Bowers, Founding Member of PDX Commons
The PDXC members rejoicing upon move-in! That's Lew up front in the red hat :)
Lew Bowers, founding member of PDX Commons ( a CoHousing Solutions Client) and trainee of the 500 Communities Program , was recently interviewed on the subject of senior cohousing.

"Lew and his wife were keen to avoid this problem of social isolation as they aged. Four years in the making, hear how Lew's idea of creating a Senior Cohousing community in his hometown came to fruition. Learn how to avoid social isolation as you age by forming a  collaborative community of supportive friends. " See the rest of the article on Ann Nelson's Blog: Retire Well, Retire Happy.

CoHousing Solutions was critical to PDX Commons' success as a community. PDXC asked Katie McCamant to come on board in 2013 to help navigate the cohousing development world. As Lew says, “Turns out that the investment in Katie has helped our project save time and money in so many ways – giving us templates to start our legal documents, outlining the overall deal structure and helping to negotiate contracts with our consultants.” Katie was a key link between the members and the developer Urban Development + Partners, who have set a great precedent for the cohousing group-developer relationship.
Updates from the world of cohousing....
Raven's Roost Recognized for Energy Efficiency and Planning Achievements!
(From the Raven's Roost Newsletter)

"At this year's state Home Builder Conference, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and the State of Alaska Home Builder Association awarded Ravens' Roost and the Petersen Group with the Developer of the Year award in recognition of designing and developing the most energy efficient multi-family homes.

Ensuring that we built a 'green' community was an important value during the planning of Ravens' Roost and earning this award means a lot to us. In addition, during the annual Alaska Planning Conference, Ravens' Roost and Enterprise Engineering were recognized with a Best Practices award from the Alaska Chapter of the American Planning Association."

Congratulations, Raven's Roost! We are so pleased to see all of your hard work recognized by the local development community.
As their development consultant, Katie worked with the community to put together this successful local team.
Fair Oaks EcoHousing's Construction Loan Signing
Members of Fair Oaks EcoHousing, a representative from Torrey Pines Bank, Katherine and Rachel Bardis of Bardis Homes, and our very own Katie McCamant were all present at the Title Company on December 4 for the $10.3 Million construction loan signing.

Fair Oaks EcoHousing was also featured on CBS local news !
Spokane Cohousing Wraps up their Common House Programming and Design Workshop with MDA
Spokane Cohousing recently wrapped up their Common House Programming and Schematic Design Workshop with McCamant & Durrett Architects . This is a crucial step in the cohousing process; a well-designed common house with thoughtful programming and prioritization will greatly affect the success and functionality for the long-term community.
Staying Active on Social Media...
is a great way for cohousing groups to spread awareness and grow membership. Check out Mariah McKay's holiday post for #Spokane #Cohousing on Instagram here .
Upcoming Events
Spokane Cohousing
Book Signing Event with Author/Architect Chuck Durrett
February 10, 2018 at Auntie's Bookstore
We're Here to Help
We provide development consulting services to help you create your sustainable neighborhood. Our team pioneered the development of cohousing in North America, and we have helped create dozens of successful communities.
Our newest venture involves training passionate cohousing entrepreneurs through the year-long 500 Communities Program. We'll be recruiting for the next class in early 2018, with applications due June 2018.
Photo by Ed Asmus
Architecture by McCamant & Durrett Architects
CoHousing Solutions | (530) 478-1970