Cohousing Now!
Do You Feel Safe & Secure?
Do you feel safe and secure? Given the appalling violence profiled in daily, that has to be a question that arises for each of us. Despite pleas also constantly voiced that we should not give in to fear, we naturally question our security, and the resultant stress can chip away at our confidence and happiness.

Does living in cohousing help alleviate fears? The emotional safety net that community creates does nurture our confidence; being part of a tribe can be enormously helpful when facing life crises. Physical safety is a shared value among our communities, with policies to guide us, common areas protected from auto traffic, and security systems built in. Joani Blank pointed out years ago that cohousing intrinsically provides security, noting our "all eyes on the common areas," with strangers being instantly recognizable. Joani also provided good advice to build community with your neighbors in the blocks surrounding you.

My Durham Central Park Coho has been occupied two years now. We made connection with neighbors a key part of planning for urban habitation. Safety was a part of our design planning and has been incorporated into routines, such as our "nightly rounds." The walker is tasked with various checks and observations, yet a side benefit is a member wide consistency in our attention to safety. By posting discrepancies to the community list serve (such as unlocked doors), we become aware as a group of where trouble spots are. The awareness of shared responsibility has resulted in a satisfying level of trust and confidence.

Physical safety and community emotional support that collaborative living provides are key components to our sense of security. But is that enough?  You may join me in feeling fear every day for much of humanity. Rather than be paralyzed by the enormity of what we face today, I translate some of that anxiety into positive action by advocating for more cohousing communities. I advocate that living in a culture of caring and sharing builds confidence that calls us to civic engagement - that eventually leads to societal resilience and global compassion.

How does cohousing affect your sense of security? And does this influence your life's work and activities? I would welcome hearing from you!
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.

I have wanted to visit Arcosanti for some time because it's such an exciting urban laboratory. When I saw the workshop advertised, I registered immediately. The workshop covers a worthwhile topic in a place that I was eager to visit.  If we want our cohousing communities to function well, it's beneficial to get training on skills to help our communities succeed. 
-- Marty Maskall, future resident of Fair Oaks EcoHousing

Learn more here.            Register Now here .
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May 19-21, 2017
Nashville, Tennessee
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Sept 2 - 5, 2016  
If you want to live according to the values of cooperation, sustainability, and equality this conference is for you. Focus is on Intentional Communities, including Ecovillages, Cohousing, and Housing Cooperatives.

Do you proactively de-escalate 'diverse' personalities in your life? 
..... Regardless of your community - be it your workplace, neighbor-hood, place of worship - all members have personalities and quirks that are annoying or pleasant and endless traits in between.  At some point in our lives, we've likely been annoyed by someone or been the one annoying someone else.  I live in a cohousing community which, I'm finding, is an endless source of personality war stories. Recently, there was a huge blow up over a festering issue.  The unsuspecting target wandered by and offered salutations only to be greeted by the perpetrator who had tension building up in him before letting loose with a vulgar verbal barrage..... This was an eyeopener for me.  I had heard about community skirmishes, but this was the first time I'd been in the middle of one . The timing and circumstances that brought a particular group of otherwise good people together in one spot caused this violent outburst.  . ..  read more.      
Join our Dealing with Diverse Personalities retreat  to  explore the roots of your own diverse personality, become aware of others' and learn how to de-escalate when personalities clash.
Seeking Affordable Cohousing Options for Individuals 
Wendy Wiesner, PFAC (Partnerships for Affordable Cohousing)
Wendy responds to a person in Sacramento seeking affordable cohousing options, who writes: I've been trying to crack this cohousing egg for many years without luck. We have many cohousing projects either developed or in development in the area, but when I ask about affordable units, I get no response.
....It is likely your requests were fielded by someone who didn't really know how to respond. When a person with needs--financial or otherwise--contacts a cohousing community and wants to join, chances are there's no procedure, policy or guidelines in place for handling this special request....This quandary becomes a crisis when a community participant can't afford to move in, leaving a community on the verge of construction short of pre-sales, and a valued community member without a home! PFAC's most valuable efforts to date--those directly in service of solving this problem--have been spent convincing both forming and existing communities before the fact that making affordable units, as well as addressing current and future members' affordability needs, is crucial.  ....   read more  
Where would you want to die? How would you want to die?    
Steven Ablondi, Memel.Global
Here is the text of the letter I read at the 
conference, from a neurologist friend.
Here are some facts from 2010:
Medicare paid $55 billion just for doctor and hospital bills during the last two months of patients' lives. That's more than the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, or the Department of Education - and 20 to 30 percent of these medical expenses may have had no meaningful impact. About 20% of Americans will die in an Intensive Care Unit at an average cost of $10,000 per day.  The question is, where would you want to die? How do you want to die? If we don't ask the questions then we will not have options. The decisions will be made for us.....We are entirely too focused on anti-aging and fighting disease. ...What we have forgotten is that life is a terminal condition.... But just like the natural birth movement, we can reclaim our death as well. It just requires planning...   Read more
Living Community
What's it Like to Grow Up in Cohousing?
Ava, age 145 months (132 of them in cohousing)
I've lived in cohousing for all I can remember- nearly my whole life! When I was 13 months old my family moved into the friendly community that surrounds our everyday lives. When I meet people interested in cohousing, they all ask what it's like to grow up here. So many people ask that one question-- the one question I can't answer. The truth is, I don't know what it's like to not grow up in cohousing. There are obvious differences, like the lack of roads, the close houses, and the friendly people, that even I understand. But I can't imagine not knowing everyone in my neighborhood or not being able to step out the front door and wave to the amazing people out there.
When I was about six, I realized that most other people do not have personal connections with the people around them. My friend Zoe came over and was impressed by the neighbors hanging out on each others porches. That particular day held a community potluck and I remember Zoe looking around at all the conversation and happiness and food. She asked whether she could stay forever. That was when I realized I wanted to stay forever too.
Coho/US Notes
Jenny Godwin, Coho/US Outreach Associate 
Welcome to Jenny who will be contributing her talents a few hours a week to enhance our community engagement and conference planning. Jenny is the media leader for CoHousing Solutions, and has  a BA in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development & Environmental Policy from Western Washington University. Her passions lie in sustainable community development, renewable energy, and developing innovative solutions to meet the resource challenges posed by climate change.  Currently based in Nevada City, she hails from Montana.


Established Communities = 162
---Completed = 146
---Building = 16

Forming** = 130
**Thirty forming groups have acquired land they plan to develop
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New Listings:

Yellow Spring, Ohio

Flower Mound, Texas

Eugene, Oregon