Cohousing Now!
National Cohousing Open House Day
National Cohousing Open House Day - Opening Our Doors and Hearts on Sat, April 30, 2016

Whatever these words may bring up for you, one thing is certain - just as cohousing is a collaborative process, so to it will be with this event. We invite your community, whether you are a new seedling, actively building, or an established forest, to open your doors, welcome public visitors and showcase your community - on the same day as others across the country. Coho/US is offering a national platform for communities to create an inviting, educational and fun event within your community (or for those without land, at a suitable location).

A visit is worth a thousand words! An open house provides a great opportunity to attract the public to get a taste for themselves, and help you build a robust waiting list. When we started forming our communities, this goal was on our minds daily. For those living in mature communities, it may be just as important, to attract people that can carry on your community's vision.

Visit the  National Cohousing Open House Day webpage,  and complete the  Community Sign Up.  Later this year, we will promote your community as "open for visitors" with links to your event details.  There is no cost to communities to participate, nor will there be a cost to the public. Coho/US is providing the national framework, publicity and marketing for your event to be a success. Funding for this event and other services are made possible by annual community donations - please consider!

Many of you already hold such events - open houses, educational talks, pot lucks for friends and family, and other creative ways for outsiders to experience the joy of living in community.  Or maybe you use to and haven't for a while.  Perhaps you have been wanting to but haven't quite gotten up the momentum yet.  Whatever stage you are in, here is the perfect opportunity to get the ball rolling with full force!    

Mark your calendars now - Saturday April 30, 2016.  Right as spring is unfolding, with the sun lingering longer in the sky and its warmth drawing people to explore new things, we will be opening our doors - and our hearts.
Conferences & Events
Sat, Oct 3, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Union Bridge, Maryland

Sacramento Cohousing Forum: Oct 10th  - featuring both established communities and cohousing groups-in-formation
West Coast Communities Conference   Oct 9-11, Mendocino, CA
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.

Discover CohousingArt Works (320 Hull St, Richmond, VA), Oct 18, 2:00-4:00 pm  Future residents of 5 cohousing neighborhoods in Virginia, are sponsoring a public presentation on the cohousing trend taking root across the region and the country. 
Friday, 6:00-8:00 pm, Nov 13 at Eno River Unitarian in Durham, NC, hosted by CoHousing Solutions & Village Hearth Cohousing 
Interested in partnering with Coho/US to produce a regional conference? Share your creative ideas with us!
Land Use Regulations, Urban Planners, and Intentional Communities  Robert Boyer , Univ of North Carolina at Charlotte
[ Reprinted from  Communities Magazine.  Robert Boyer, Assistant Professor of Geography and Earth Sciences at UNC Charlotte, was an enthusiastic participant at the 2015 National Cohousing Conference.]

We love our property rights in the United States. The first English settlers on the North American continent left their homeland, in part, to escape an archaic and feudal land holding system.....  Every aspiring intentional community confronts this maze of laws, including communities that strategically evade these laws by settling in spare rural regions. Below, I discuss some of the most important tools that planners and municipal governments use to both restrict and enable development, and the obstacles that these tools might pose to aspiring or existing intentional communities.   Read more
Organizing Low-Income Cohousing
Sharon Villines, Sociocracy.info "A Deeper Democracy"
What are some ways to encourage people to create low-income cohousing? Suggestions:
1. Define "low income"
2. Get organized and empower leadership
3. Find a financial consultant and professional advice
4. Do research and price alternatives
5. Expect a long timeline     read more  
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Why is there a Lack of Affordable Cohousing? 
Ty Albright - Dallas, TX
I am often asked about "affordable housing." People want "affordable cohousing." I want to share with you what this is all about and why I believe this country lacks "affordable cohousing." I also want to tell you about a good book by Andrew Heben "Tent City Urbanism (from self-organized Camps to Tiny House Villages)" which documents some solutions. I'd also like to share some ideas for solutions I have...Change is needed and awareness is the first step toward achieving desired change. read more...
Cohousing! What is it? The Process of Defining 
R Philip Dowds, Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Like all of you, I am regularly confronted with "Cohousing, what's that?" Despite my architectural background, I am very slow to bringup anything along the lines of the development program or design features. I describe it as a social contract for a lifestyle and a culture. Informally and shorthand, I say that we agree to get to know each other, and learn something about our backgrounds and desires; to help each other out; and to practice sharing and collaboration in decisions and activities small and large. That's the lowbrow version.  read more  
Living in Community
Thoughts on Crossroads             
Doris Bedinger, Burlington Cohousing East Village
I lived in Salina, Kansas for 31 years. Every time I left the house I ran into someone I knew, and often, knew well. Newly arrived in Burlington, I knew only my daughters and a couple of their friends. The first time I was out and saw someone I had met recently, I went over and hugged her......I began to enumerate the places we cross paths in East Village: the dining room, hallways, courtyard, garden, berry bushes, compost bins, bottleneck door by the mail room, driveway, recycling bins, laundry room, work days, clotheslines, kitchen (common meals), play-ground, puzzle table, patio.....it is almost impossible not to run into a neighbor just going about our lives here. I know the architects and visionaries of this, our home, did this very intentionally. It works. Read more

While many intuitively understand the benefits of living in a close-knit neighborhood, some people need numbers to convince them. That's why members of Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage on the Maine coast conducted their own study to find out how much money typical residents will save in energy costs and in-kind goods and services.  The result? Over twenty years, a family of four would save between $80,000 and $130,000. read more
End Notes
Dallas Visit: Encouraging Cohousing in the Big State of Texas 
I enjoyed a visit to Dallas recently, at the invitation of entrepreneurs Angela Alston and Hugh Resnick, who are spearheading  Dallas CohousingAbout 35 folks from various networks joined us, with enthusiasm and curiosity. With no established cohousing in Texas to provide a model, it's a challenge to get traction! Two folks from Denton, 40 miles northeast of Dallas via a rail line, are on a mission to create cohousing there.  Wildflower EcoVillage  was also present - a forming group in rural Greenville, 50 miles northwest, focused on permaculture and off-grid possibilities.  We are fortunate to have Ty Albright joining the Coho/US Board to help support these initiatives. Ty lives in Carrollton, 20 miles from downtown - another area ripe for cohousing, particularly among his current neighbors of empty nesters. Stay tuned!

Coho/US Board of Directors - Welcome New Members

Ty Albright (Carrollton, Texas)  is an artist, gardner, and theologian with 30+ years experience in commercial real estate. Recently retired, he is now pursuing a "2nd Act" career in cohousing development. Ty figures that with no cohousing communities in the entire state of Texas, that just needs to change. Ty is self-studied on alternative housing solutions and living strategies including the emerging "downshifting" lifestyle choices. He is participating in 500 Communities cohousing development project management.

Philip Dowds (Cornerstone Village, Cambridge, MA)  is an off-the-clock architect, recently specialized in healthcare and eldercare design. In 2007, he and his wife Susan moved to Cornerstone Village Cohousing (32 units; opened in 2001), where they each remain active participants in many aspects of community life. He believes that community life runs better when approached in a more businesslike manner, and understands that his view is a minority one.

We're pleased our sister organization PFAC (Partnerships for Affordable Cohousing) has made the leap in appointing a first Executive Director. Wendy Wiesner is an excellent choice, having served on the board for many years to help shape and grow the organization's important mission of promoting and establishing affordable cohousing. Coho/US is proud to be collaborating with PFAC. Visit PFAC's Website

Established Communities = 155
Completed = 131
Building* = 24
Own Site = 24
Forming = 97
* Many building communities have residents but continue to add members and build homes.
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Homes for Sale

4BR/3Bath/JPCohousing/$679K/65 Cornwall St #111Boston

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Colorado Mountain Ranch & Farm -- 3 & 4 BD at Heartwood

4 BR Flat, Prime Location in Established Community (under contract)

For Sale in New Hampshire's Greenest Community

3 Bedroom Home at Mosaic Commons, $349,000

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Seeking Members

Jubilee Cohousing in Floyd, Virginia

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Join a Green, Intergenerational Cohousing Community near Sacramento!

Riverside Living in Eugene, Oregon!

 Caddis Architecture

 

 CoHousing Solutions | Sustainable Neighborhood Consultants

 

 Kraus Fitch Architects | Home - Community - Planet

 

Linda Herman Consulting 

 

McCamant & Durrett Architects: The Cohousing Co

 

 schemata workshop | architecture & planning

 

Zucker Architecture 

  

N Street Cohousing: Walls Come Down, Friendships Grow Mother Earth News (Oct/Nov 2015)
Removing fences between several
rundown suburban houses in Davis,
California, made way for the now-thriving
N Street CohousingKevin Wolf's practical advice: "Tear down the fence between two houses, start using that space together, and you're on your way."

Over 50 folks joined North Bay Cohousing on Sept 13th in Novato CA to learn   about two real and now cohousing opportunities: a Novato site for sale and a Cotati site under contract. 

'Breaking the Mold' This interview with social scientist Bella DePaulo reveals a broader array of lifestyles-from our relationships to our living spaces-than many of us could dream up. It starts with this picture by Tim Pierce of Mossaic Commons in Massachusetts.

"The longer I've worked on this, the more there is a deeper purpose for me," say Sharon Cluster-Boggess, walking through the woods where Jubilee Cohousing will rise. "I really do believe the ability to work together in a community is what is going to save the planet."

The Denver Post
"Everyone knows they're growing old," [Alan] O'Hashi said. "But to come to terms with the situation is something else. It's a conversation a lot of people here don't want to have." O'Hashi, a documentary filmmaker, is eager to talk about the changes that Boulder's Silver Sage Village community will need to make to accommodate its aging residents.

Resources
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MidAtlantic Cohousing - new website designed by Ann Zabaldo (nice job!)




Cohousing Directory Updates

Nashville, Tennessee is now complete!

Stone's Throw Ecovillage disbanded- Jerry McGuire shares: We did not achieve the minimum membership we needed to develop, so we are selling our property outside Viroqua (Wisconsin).  

Forming , not yet listed on Directory: 
Providence Cohousing, Rhode Island
Denton Cohousing, Denton Texas
Thrifty Acres, Austin, Texas