Cohousing Now!
Spring, the Time of Growth

It is so exciting to see such interest blooming in the cohousing movement!

We had a successful regional conference in Colorado  when meeting new people and reconnecting with cohousing friends. Katie McCamant talked about 'reintegrating community in this fast paced world' in a public presentation. There were sessions for everybody on Saturday and a fun time was had out on the town that night. Oh, and the CO weather cooperated (mostly) with the sun shining for the Community bus tours that went to nine different amazing cohousing communities! 

The third annual National Cohousing Open House day happened with over 60 communities participating, some offering tours, some offering a meal, and some inviting guests to participate in a work day! This was a fantastic way to allow visitors to see what cohousing life is like!

The North East Summit will be held in Amherst, MA Sept 21-23, 2019 which will include opportunities for networking a creating connections. The conference will offer sessions for those seeking and forming community as well as those living in it. There will be opportunities to visit communities in the surrounding area.

Our neighbors in Canada hosted their first Canadian Cohousing Conference that was well attended and included a day of sessions and a morning of tours. Not only are more communities being created in the US, but in provinces all around Canada as well!

Many more communities are opening their doors by way of regularly scheduled open houses or tours as a way not only to build their waiting list, but also to simply spread the word of cohousing as a way to live in community. And as spring is often a time for home sales, these events are happening now!

You will soon be hearing more from the Portland, OR conference committee as they continue preparations for the May 30 - June 2, 2019 national conference. This conference will include pre-conference intensives to allow diving deep into topics as well as sessions for all many levels of interest in cohousing and tours of Portland communities.

And please give notice to the increased occurrences of cohousing in media. There are news articles, radio and online sharing about cohousing!  Let us use this momentum to keep growing and keep creating community, one neighborhood at a time.

Northeast Cohousing Summit 
Regional Cohousing Conference
more information to come!

National Cohousing Conference 
May 30 - Jun 2nd, 2019 Portland Oregon 
more information to come!

File of Life
by Ann Zabaldo, Takoma Village

If there's a medical emergency in your community who has information to give to the First Responders about the affected residents? How does the community collect the information? Do you ask members to fill out a form? How safe is it having paper forms around? And who maintains these paper forms? Do you entrust one or two people to keep an up-to-date database on each member? And if those trusted residents are not available when the ambulance arrives ... how do you get the information? How much risk is a community shouldering when it develops a plan for keeping information about a resident's health info? And, ... some people don't want their private medical information housed in either a paper or an electronic file somewhere that they are unable to oversee.

Here's a totally different way to do this that avoids the issue of privacy, allows access to the information when needed, and, obviates the work needed by one or more members to collect and maintain a database. 

Mid Atlantic Cohousing is participating in the FILE OF LIFE program for its member communities. (We are happy to share with everyone!) 

File of Life is a NATIONAL program for alerting emergency and 1st responders to critical information needed during a crisis. It's a low-tech pocket device that attaches by magnet to your refrigerator. In the pocket there is a medical information card to be filled out by each person in the household. Because this is a national program emergency First Responders are trained to look on the refrigerator when they enter a home. They grab the FoL, read it to assist them with their duties and take the information w/ them to the hospital. 

 The medical card to fill out covers everything: contact info, medications, allergies, etc. etc. etc. 

Each person maintains their own information. No privacy issues. The information is always accessible via the refrigerator door. No one has to make repeated requests to individuals to provide information. And, best, using the FoL leaves no one open to a lawsuit should something go wrong in the handling of this information.  

But how do you get people to fill out the cards? One good way is to use this as an opportunity for some community building. Do this as an activity either as part of your regular meeting time or as a fun stand alone get- together in the Common House for munchies and filling out the cards. If you have a risk management team or a community life team this may a good activity for them to spear head. 

You can purchase these in bulk from File of Life. Min. order 50 @$.89. Comes w/ 1 card. Additional cards: $.10
A pack of 5 of these on Amazon costs $15.00 plus $8.95 Shipping (NOT available via PRIME.) order on Amazon 

M id Atlantic Cohousing has the File of Life pockets available for $2.00 per + S&H. No minimum. Each File of Life pocket comes with 3 medical information cards. Don't need all three? Share w/ a neighbor who has more household members. Need extra? Ask one of your neighbors who has leftovers. 

This is a very good way to get critical information from members into a nationally recognized program format that never leaves your house. I hope you will consider the File of Life program for the members in your community.  

If you want to purchase from MAC, please drop me an email and I'll send you the ordering and payment information. We have about 100 of these in stock. 

FYI - File of Life supersedes an older program called VIAL of Life. In the older version, you still filled out the same info, but you stored it in a glass vial which you then put in your freezer. You can visualize the complications of a First Responder rifling through your freezer looking for a glass vial w/ your info amid the frozen chicken nuggets, ice cream and that cold pack for strained muscles only to find out the vial has broken and your information is covered in ice crystals ... Yeah ... They switched to the front of the refrigerator ...

CohoUS Notes


by Annie Lehman, PDX Commons, National CohoUS BOD member

I am returning from the CoHousing USA Regional Conference in Boulder, CO April 2018. I'm still 
high on the vitality that we shared the entire weekend. Wherever you looked, the almost 200 
attendees were talking intently,  meeting new people, sharing experiences, hopes, and dreams for 
the future. Plus it all felt positive, even when we discussed challenges, like managing conflict. 
What was evident all weekend was the "community" we all strive for-- new, old, seeking, building, 
and living it. There was a fervent sense that this is what is needed right now. It was such a
welcome and welcoming feeling. There was an assortment of workshops (from diversity, 
marketing, fun, affordability, aging, to building net-zero energy and beyond).

My weekend started with a National Board retreat, where we hashed out a revitalized vision for  
the organization that will help spread the word of both cohousing and what cohousing stands for, 
in a world that can often feel topsy-turvy. From details like refreshing the community listings to 
increasing regional representation as we spread our gospel to the fifty states and beyond. 

The conference on Friday had well-attended intensives (such as Bridging Circles, Development  
101, Design, Affordability), a welcome reception where the buzz was high even without the free 
red drink tickets! Saturday saw packed workshops, like marketing or dealing with difficult 
members (where we all shared our best practices), to designing common house issues and 
building a great team. Saturday also saw a full house for each breakfast and lunch presentations and more 
talking with each other. All day long, dedicated professionals and veterans cohousers shared their 
knowledge and soaked up the energy of dedicated newbie. Saturday night proved popular with the 
joint dinners out on the town where we met mostly new folks and sampled Boulder's delicious 
restaurants. The conversations never stopped (ok a few of us are introverts, but the talking was 
pervasive). A happy feeling, smiling faces, the lively dialog just never ceased. Sunday brought 
bus tours to Boulder/Denver and beyond cohousing communities.

I do and did have a feeling that part of this vigor and liveliness is what you might see at any   
cohousing conference and part of it was, the essential demand, so many of us are feeling for the 
community it provides to us during challenging world times.
I hope existing communities can support our renewed vision with financial commitments 
to CohoUS, and individuals will invest in this dream, to grow this collaborative 
movement, so many of us have chosen to live.

Established Communities = 166
---Completed = 149
---Building = 17

Forming = 142
Like receiving eNews? Please support Coho/US, serving as a clearinghouse and connector to grow and nurture cohousing across the country. 

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Senior Cohousing


Lonely? Maybe cohousing is
one of the cures

by:  Glacier Media
Cohousing is a collaborative style of living where a group of people buy property and then design and build a complex in which individuals or families typically own their own units but share large common areas, organize group meals several times a week and have responsibilities around the building. Unit prices typically reflect market rates, but residents benefit from extra common space and other advantages of living in an intentional community. Some savings are also realized if the group acts as the developer for the project. read more

Cohousing about 'getting to know your neighbor'

By Daniel Smithson 
Florida's first cohousing community, in northwest Gainesville, aims to bond residents through shared meals, chores and resources. The idea is to create a neighborhood that harkens back to simpler times.

Mary Logan, a 72-year-old Baltimore native now living in Gainesville, has always been an introvert, she said.
Living in the bigger city, she kept to herself for the most part, only socializing with friends she'd known for years.
But she recently bought a house in Gainesville in Florida's first cohousing community, Gainesville Cohousing, which is designed to be a tightknit community that shares meals and resources, dedicates time to neighborhood chores and fosters friendship unlike some typical modern subdivisions where "people get home from work, drive into the garage and shut the door," said Brooks Nelson, a community founder.

"I think of the way that we live now and everyone is in their own home and essentially separate from anyone else," he said. "You might see your neighbor when they take the trash out, but you're lucky to know their names.
"Cohousing takes you halfway toward the way it used to be in a more simpler time." read more

Strategic Partners

Cohousing Research Network (CRN) is the research arm of the Cohousing Association of the US (Coho/US) and aspires to be a global resource center for cohousing research.  CRN was formed in 2011 at the National Cohousing Conference in Washington, D.C.  Researchers from all over the world gathered together and decided that cohousing research should be as collaborative as cohousing itself!

Cohousing-L is an email discussion list on all aspects of cohousing -- development, design, move-in, organizing work, community life, governance, finances, legal questions, etc. Many cohousing veterans and professionals participate in the discussion offering information that is almost immediate and unavailable elsewhere. For twenty plus years, Cohousing-L has played an essential role in the growth of cohousing.

Fellowship for Intentional Communities  
Humanity thrives when people work together.  An "Intentional Community" shows what happens when people take this premise to the next level - by living together in a village of their own making which reflects their shared values.
Intentional Communities come in many shapes and sizes, and go by many names. This includes cohousing, ecovillages, cooperative houses, communes, and so on. We believe there is strength and beauty in this diversity, and our aim is to support it.