Cohousing Now!
Totally Inspired and Energized

Such enthusiasm we experienced at the National Cohousing Conference - so many stories we shared, pivotal connections we made, and lots of "ah-ha" moments during sessions. "I left totally inspired and energized" wrote a participant - and that's exactly how I felt. In this limited space, I will share but three stories:


 
On Friday morning of the conference, two local women showed up, after hearing Katie McCamant and Chuck Durrett the evening before at the public library presentation. They couldn't stay for the conference (and never mind we were sold out!), but I squeezed them into Chuck's "How to Get a Senior Cohousing Started." Convinced and inspired, they are now working to create a senior cohousing community. 


Back in March, I received an inquiry from a woman in China, who stumbled on our website, wanting to create cohousing in her country. I encouraged her to attend the Conference - and she did, with 5 colleagues. Returning home, Joy wrote, We had a wonderful trip...The community visits, the experiences shared, the friendly people and your help and consideration would be good memory in our minds forever.... with the development of China, aging society and environmental issues are severe problems we Chinese must face and solve. Cohousing provides an attractive alternative.


Board President Bill Hartzell's "state of the union" at our Friday dinner painted a glowing and growing picture of Coho/US. But he was shockingly honest when he admitted that in recent past, we were on unsteady ground, and he recalled considerations to "mothball" the organization. Many were taken aback; one cohouser admitted getting choked up when he heard this, sharing how important the organization is, and his gratitude for helping him find cohousing.

 

While I have much to be proud of with the success of this conference, my best moment was putting on my Durham Cohousing t-shirt and welcoming the cohousing world to our home at the Conference Reception. Nothing tops the pride I have for my own community! I'll bet many of you feel the same.

Alice Alexander, Executive Director

Conferences & Events
May 28-31, 2015
What an amazing experience! The comments were overwhelmingly positive; the criticisms noted that the rooms were too small, driven by our sell-out crowd. Indeed, we broke attendance records with 457 participants. Conference success was a direct reflection of tremendous volunteer investment, outstanding presenters, and cohousing enthusiasts eager to learn and share. read more...
Documents, photos, and other conference resources:

Interested in partnering with Coho/US to produce a regional conference? Share your creative ideas with us! Read more...
Labor Day Weekend Sept 4-7, Louisa, Virginia
This annual event is a chance for people interested or involved in intentional communities, cooperatives, and community based organizations to share ideas, network, and enjoy a weekend together. Formal workshops, open space, as well as many informal opportunities to cross-pollinate.  
October 9-11, Mendocino County, California
Join other community explorers in the splendor of nature for a weekend of skill-building, networking, and celebration that promises to inspire and educate. Whether you are brand spanking new to intentional communities or have been living in them for years, plentiful opportunities for all to grow their own skills and knowledge.
July 31, Portland, Oregon
Join Charles "Chuck" Durrett, award-winning architect and author of Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living, in a lively 4-hour workshop.
Sustainability: Three Levels Critical to Our Communities 

One of the future needs for all cohousing communities is to continue generating support for Coho/US for developing and training the next generation of cohousing leaders. Just moving in to your new home is not the completion of the community, it is merely the beginning. 

We are all mere mortals. Every conference I attend gives me additional insights into what cohousing is all about, how it may be better managed, better designed, and become more sustainable. One of the convictions I brought away from Durham is that there are three levels of sustainability that are critical to our communities:. read more...

Neighborly Support vs Health Care                 

Sharon Villines, Takoma Village Cohousing

Below is a list of what neighbors can and should not do for neighbors who need support or health care. One of our residents put this together when another resident needed more than we could provide and the family was not stepping in. In another instance, the community stepped up for what was expected to be a short term of support that extended to several years. Supporting the resident also became supporting family members who come to help. Meals for one or two became meals for four or five. It was unsustainable and created feelings of guilt and inadequacy. It's not easy to draw a line in the sand, and almost impossible after the tide has come in. Establishing guidelines in advance can be very helpfulread more 

It Turns Out We're a Neurodiverse Community

Margot Starbuck,  North Street Neighborhood
 [editor's note: a new tag more than cohousing will link resources]

When Coho/US held their annual conference in Durham last month, most folks in my neighborhood - just four blocks away - weren't entirely clear what cohousing was. But after a few insiders visited our Durham neighborhood, we not only learned what it was but also that we've been doing it for the last three years. We also learned a new phrase: "neurodiverse community." read more 

Living in Community
What to Expect
Erica Rothman, Durham Cohousing

I didn't expect to hear so much birdsong in the morning. I didn't expect to be able to see so much sky, sometimes the sunrise and sunset on the same day. I didn't expect to love my apartment so much, or to feel the disappointments I feel. I didn't expect that my marriage would break up before I moved into cohousing, and that I would be living alone for the very first time ever. I didn't expect to feel this comfortable with a large group of people. And I definitely didn't expect to break my arm a month 

after I moved in. Read more

Cohousing Research Network
How Do Cohousers Compare? Findings from 2012 Survey
Angela Sanguinetti, Coho/US Board member and liaison with CRN

 

Greetings from Cohousing Research Network! We are excited to share our Conference presentation of the results from the 2012 National Survey of Cohousing Residents.....CRN is sensitive to the fact that cohousing communities are often approached by researchers, so one of our goals is to collaborate, combining our efforts and sharing data, thus reducing the burden on communities while still generating research that can support the growth of cohousing. read more....

End Notes
Cohousing Directory Map & Metrics
Coho/US now offers a Cohousing Directory Map - check it out!

We are grateful to creator Jenny Godwin.

We encourage folks to let us know when your community status changes. When was the last time you reviewed and updated your profile on the Cohousing Directory?

 

Existing Communities = 151

Completed = 126

Building* = 23

Own Site = 23

Forming = 89

* Many building communities are existing communities with resident members, but continue to add members and build homes.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If we want the organization to succeed and continue its work in advocacy (great to see so many new faces from different sectors at the conference) and outreach (all our communities benefit from prospective members finding us on the website), then we all need to consider a sustaining gift. If we don't all do our part now, we can't complain in a year or two if the organization has to fold. That's like complaining that your "favorite" breakfast place closed when you didn't go for breakfast more than once a year.
grace h. kim
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Cohousing Professionals

 Caddis Architecture

 

 CoHousing Solutions | Sustainable Neighborhood Consultants

 

 Kraus Fitch Architects | Home - Community - Planet

 

McCamant & Durrett Architects: The Cohousing Co

 

 schemata workshop | architecture & planning

 

Zucker Architecture 

  

Cohousing Returns to the Radio 

"Going Home with Tony" host Tony Scimeca welcomed Alice Alexander and Jerry McIntire, founding member of Stone's Throw Ecovillage in Virqua Wisconsin. Some great quotes: 

 

"Collaboration is the wave of the future. Learning to listen to one another and communicating with respect." 

 

Cohousing benefits include pride of ownership: Young people, even the youngest kids, love helping out in neighborhood work parties." 

 

What about living in a small space? 1200 SF condos in Durham Coho feel spacious! like a bedroom in a mansion. 

 

Inside Portland's Oldest Cohousing Community - Portland Monthly 

This cohousing community has evolved since its first 15 families arrived in 1979.... "Everyone moves on from this plant," say Wheeler. "But the community? It wants to go on for generation after generation."

 

Granville Cohousing, Ohio's second forming group, has a contract to purchase 14 acres, and hopes to be completed by 2017. "We've had a large amount of interest," says James Griffin, one of the group's leaders.

 

Net-zero energy home a showcase of architecture for the times 

 - The Taos News

"Part of wanting to build this house is for it to be an educational opportunity
," says Kristin and Ross Ulibarri, members of Valverde Commons in Taos, NM. "The total amount of energy used is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created onsite."

Aging doesn't always come naturally. Classes are teaching boomers how - The Washington Post

Ann Zabaldo guided her graying students through the steps they'd need to take to reimagine the rest of their lives in the communal existence that has come to be known as "co-housing."

"Nobody is ever going to care for you the way people who know you are going to care for you."

more news 

Resources





New: Chinese version

Cohousing Directory - New

 

Charlotte Cohousing - ReNewed
Charlotte, North Carolina

Granville, Ohio

more on the Cohousing Directory