Cohousing Now!
Cohousing: One Day A Fact of Life
One day, cohousing won't be an underground movement but a fact of life. From the people I've met and the stories I've heard, we're well on the way. Can't wait. --Jim Leach Wonderland Hill Development, at the Aging Better Together Conference in Salt Lake City, May 2016

Hear, hear! Creating a cohousing-friendly environment - and making cohousing a household word - is front and center in the Coho/US strategic plan. We all want cohousing to become mainstream, and our models and culture to fundamentally influence conventional housing.

While we have a long way to go, I've seen a significant increase in media visibility since I began as executive director just over two years ago: I'm now receiving media inquiries once or twice a week. I was pleased - and amazed- that the Aging Better Together Conference yielded on-site media attention, with journalists from YES! Magazine and PBS venture Next Avenue in attendance, as well national bloggers.

The National Cohousing Open House Day provided another great opportunity to raise cohousing in the public consciousness, with 95 communities participating. Coordinating open houses across the country created a synergy that multiplied the attention these events normally receive, with many communities scoring local media, and a general public that was inspired to visit communities near and far. Opening our doors and sharing stories of our intentional community life are unbeatable in persuading the public about the benefits of cohousing.

Chuck Durrett recently told me "I won't feel I've accomplished my work until cohousing is a normal part of our culture." This from the man who, along with wife Katie McCamant, coined the term cohousing, and has developed over 50 communities; no resting on laurels for him. That's inspiring, but also daunting - how do we get this movement to the next level, without multi-dollar resources for a public education campaign?

Let's keep talking it up: share your lifestyle with the person sitting next to you on that long airplane ride, or as you meet new folks in your greater neighborhood. Chuck urges us all to ensure cohousing books are in local libraries and book stores. Call your local media and invite a journalist to attend a community dinner. Share the State of Cohousing in the U.S. white paper with housing officials. Do you have ideas? Please share!
Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director
Conferences & Events
Cohousing Retreat at Arcosanti, Arizona
Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2016    Coho/US  Sponsored 

Dealing with Diverse Personalities 
in Community
Why? Because relationships are the most important part of community.

A fun and informative weekend getaway in the high desert at the world-famous community of Arcosanti.

Save the Date:
2017 National Cohousing Conference
May 19-21, 2017
Nashville, Tennessee
Building Resilient, Sustainable Communities
Co-Chaired by Diana Sullivan, Germantown Commons; 
Bryan Bowen, Caddis Architecture and Wild Sage Cohousing

 
The Conference is Over, but what an Impact
"This is the only place this conversation, about aging with support in community, is happening." Katie McCamant, CoHousing Solutions
The conference took the bull by the horns in addressing how cohousing can empower seniors to age successfully - and have fun in the process. The program unveiled ideas for reinventing aging through a community framework: how cohousing can empower older adults to self-organize into high-functioning communities of support; how the principles of aging in community can provide the blueprint for everyone to ask for, receive and give care; how senior-friendly cohousing can contribute to a sense of purpose that improves our health, happiness and creative productivity. read more
    

Thank you to our Sponsors for making the conference possible and for showing their commitment to creating senior-friendly cohousing communities across the U.S.

Quimper Village was well represented at the conference

 











It was like a party! I was an informal greeter and met so many interesting and lively people. Maybe this response is a nice indication that our society is beginning to think realistically and creatively about housing. ST, Acequia Jardin (Albuquerque)......... It gave us a chance to show off our beautiful community, and find potential buyers for current homes for sale, but also setting seeds for the future. More people now know about us and know more about cohousing . Katie McCamant, Nevada City Cohousing (Calif)
Many thanks to the 95 communities across the country who opened their doors and welcomed the public for our inaugural National Cohousing Open House Day ... read more
The Development Side of Building Quimper Villages
Carolyn Salmon, Quimper Village (Port Townsend WA)
[ Part of the Session " How to Grow a Senior Cohousing Community,
" presented at the Aging Better Together Conference, May 2016 ]
Pat and David have told you the story of how Quimper Village was imagined, initiated and marketed... I'm going to tell you how we simultaneously addressed the legal and financial requirements for building the physical community so we had something to sell.  The development side of Quimper Village has been on fast track since we began. Our motto is: we don't buy green bananas. Our goal is move-in within 3 years of our decision to build. ..  read more  
If you Lived Here, You Wouldn't Isolated
Carol Marak, seniorcare.com (Waco, Texas)
Last week, I attended the Aging Better Together Conference. Before, my...assumptions of cohousing looked a lot like a senior independent living place that used a trendy name. Initially, the idea of "another" housing option for adults, the kind where the retired lived a high life wasn't compelling. However...I've learned that isolation and solitary comes with a price. If there's something the aging needs, it involves companionship, connection, and human interaction.....Cohousing gives us the chance to reinvent a lifestyle of our choosing, not someone else's vision of how we should live. Many adults enjoy solo living, but there is a distinction between living alone physically and living alone socially. Here are the disadvantages: . ....   read more  
Queer, Person of Color, or Low-Income; Is Cohousing Possible for Me?
Cynthia Dettman, The Commons on the Alameda (Santa Fe)
What are intergenerational co-housing communities and advocacy groups doing to attract and retain members who don't fit the common (middle aged, middle class, white, heterosexual) co-housing profile? In this article Queer, Person of Color, or Low-Income; Is Cohousing Possible for Me?, Cynthia shares her perspective and some options to consider. Cynthia also asks that folks send her more good ideas at cyndettman@msn.com to share with her new community, The Commons on the Alameda ..  Read more
Living in Community
Open House Day at the First U.S. Cohousing Community 
Jenny Godwin, reporting from Muir Commons (Davis CA)
Californians had a lot of choices for where to visit  for Cohousing Open House Day. From Arcata to L.A. to the Bay and Sierra Foothills in-between, 19 communities participated - more than any other state (though you came close, Mass.). I had the treat of touring Muir Commons in Davis, and arrived curious about who and what I'd find in this 25 year-old community, the very first built in the United States. I wondered - Does community stand the test of time, when only a few founding members are left? Can their vision grow and be translated for a new generation?     Read more
Coho/US Notes
Available for download here are Coho/US packages seeking FNMA and FHA-HUD support
We encourage readers to use these packages if helpful; for example, cohousing groups seeking financing and may want to share with banks; communities may want to share the "state of cohousing" with media.

Established Communities = 162
---Completed = 137
---Building or Expanding* = 25
Forming** = 127
* Many building communities have residents but continue to add members and build homes.
**Twenty six forming groups have acquired land they plan to develop
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Self-Help Credit Union

If I were the marrying type, maybe I would look for a spouse to fulfill most of my wishes and dreams - and also repair the screen door. But I don't want a spouse, and there's something I need more: a personal community.  Bella DePaulo 

A life together
Valley Oaks Village in Chico CA celebrates 20 years: "In these years we look at what more can we do together, because there's a little bit of a restlessness," Jill Lacefield said. "But then we remind ourselves how we've done.... Every time people turn into our driveway, it feels like a sanctuary here, because it really has worked to that degree."

Nashville Co-housing Community is a First in the State   Fox News, Channel 17 was on hand to record the ribbon cutting festivities. "Establish a vision and then bring it into a physical reality, " says Bryan Bowen, the Caddis architect who worked with the community. 

NPR's Here and Now  
"What builds capital in neighborhoods is not actually tied to home ownership. Seeing our homes as an exclusively financial investment is adding to this problem. We should be subsidizing stability, encouraging people to stay - rather than subsidizing ownership." Brian McCabe, Georgetown University

Talk among friends is often how cohousing communities get started.
Resources




from Iowa City Cohousing  



Spring City, Utah

Waldo, Wisconsin

Belmont, Massachusetts

Tulsa Senior Cohousing
Tulsa, Oklahoma