Cohousing Now!
Gobal Compassion: Cohousing is a Part
I'm back from  Star Island off the coast of New Hampshire with a week long intentional community of 300, with a theme of global compassion. I'm personally motivated to help create a society of caring, that puts compassion into action, that can reach across the globe to reduce human suffering, address food and water shortages, heal divides, alleviate climate change - and create joy! Cohousing provides a great environment to facilitate compassion, and by virtue of the values we share - of sustainability, of caring and connection - we are already part of the global compassion movement.

I was struck when reading Ned Noddings "The Challenge to Care in Schools," promoting a learning environment that teaches children to care for all that they see around them, that adults could benefit from the same! Doesn't what Noddings advocate sound like cohousing? read more....

Compassion also feels good, and contributes to our health! ..... we have an instinctive capacity for empathy, which can include an urge to help strangers who are suffering. In the same way, when we witness people, whom we know or not, triumphing over adversity, our instinctive ability to empathize allows us to share the joy. Since we are social animals, our capacity for empathy has profound implications for our happiness as well as our health; science increasingly suggests that a person who is happy and peaceful enjoys health benefits.

Beyond seeking our own happiness, many of us aspire to global compassion, to find commonalities among the peoples of the world to address climate change, reduce violence, to support social justice.... read more
Many of us are overwhelmed: how can we possibly make a difference? We do what we can, and in my case, I am committed to creating more cohousing, which facilitates compassion. How many of our communities are committed to "non-violent communication" practices; to civic engagement outside our neighborhoods; to reducing our carbon footprint which could help alleviate food and water shortages elsewhere in the world?

The  May 2017 National Cohousing Conference will celebrate compassion in action through our successful sustainability practices. Consider joining our   Arcosanti Retreat Sept 30-Oct 2, dealing with diverse personalities - because it's all about relationships!  To continue the conversation of global compassion, read more.
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.

Read facilitator Alan O'Hashi's blogs:
I've been asked about what the "strength-based" approach I'll be using is about. Risk and protective factors are a little jargony and wonky, but important concepts when dealing with disruptive and violent behavior in an organization, community - any group, really.  read more

Let's get personal with cultural competencyRemember the climax of the "Wizard of Oz" when Dorothy gets herself back to Kansas? Good Witch of the North Glinda lets Dorothy in on the secret that she's always had the way to return home. read more
Learn more here.            Register Now here .

May 19-21, 2017,  Nashville, Tennessee
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.
Cohousing Communities in Minneapolis Growing: 
Sponsored by Twin Cities Cohousing Network (TCCN) 
Sociocracy Leadership TrainingJerry Koch-Gonzalez is promoting a 12-week immersion learning program, done remotely and by *doing* sociocracy in a pop-up organization. 
Relationships and the Uncommon House   
Have you ever noticed that when you go to dinner at a friends' house you frequently have intimate, fun conversations that make you feel closer and more connected? Have you noticed that doesn't usually happen at a dinner parties attended by lots of people? When we hang out one on one or in small groups the intimacy of the setting is conducive to personal dialog, we get a chance to share about ourselves and our lives.....For myriad financial and legal reasons we are not going to have a common house at Amabel..  . ..  read more.    

Ty Albright comments:  I disagree...Cohousing is not for everyone and not having a common house, and organizing smaller gatherings (or trips) is more suited to a HOA / dinner club form of community (which is fine - but not cohousing) read more under comments

Importance of the Common House
Charles Durrett, McCamant & Durrett Architects 
...the success of a cohousing community depends upon the "common" realm - the places where residents come together for socializing, creating, or just saying hello. These everyday acts are what keep residents connected. read more  
Seeking Affordable Cohousing for Individuals Part II
Wendy Wiesner, PFAC (Partnerships for Affordable Cohousing)
Wendy responds to a person 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. Read Part I here.
.. determine if you qualify for any affordable housing programs  ...find all the proposed affordable housing projects...PFAC might already know some of these developers; we can help weed out the good from the bad. We're good at getting developers to consider cohousing as something that is good for their business, and these very same developers, whether they do affordable development or not, have to deal with affordability in some mandated kind of way, unless they are in a rural or otherwise economically challenged environment where everything has to be "affordable"..... read more  
Cohousing: Potential to Provide Well Built Homes at Lower Cost 
Liz Ryan Cole, Pinnacle Cohousing (Lyme, NH)

Cohousing Costs the Same as "Regular" Housing  Philip Dowds, Cornerstone Village Cohousing (Cambridge, MA)
Living in Community
Community is More than the Building
Sheila Hoffman, Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing (Seattle)
It's been a long six years and a particularly long last six months but we've finally arrived. Persistence pays off! We moved into CHUC (Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing) in June.....We're still in the start-up phase where we're settling in and figuring out how to live together with our different styles and preferences and how to get all the work done while holding down jobs and nurturing families. Read more.
Coho/US Notes
Joani Blank, Cohousing Pioneer - Stories of her Impact  
We are saddened with the passing of Joani Blank, a cohousing pioneer, on August 6, 2016. Coho/US is collecting stories of her impact and influence, read more here. Memorial gifts to Coho/US may be sent to Coho/US, 130 Hunt St #405, Durham NC 27701. 

Do You Feel Safe & Secure? Alice Alexander, Coho/US Exec Director
In response to my blog,  Do You Feel Safe & Secure? , I received this thoughtful comment. I applaud the community's plan to hire an outside facilitator..... a group of residents decided that they were not feeling safe at monthly business meetings...  you ask about safety and security. I do not lock my doors even when out of the country. But that kind of safety is only part of the story. When residents gang up on one or two members, all relationship safety is nullified. Yes, we are working to educate ourselves on better meeting etiquette by hiring an outside trainer.  In the meantime, exclusivity, and the "in crowd" prevails in relationships, and safety is out the window for me. read more

Many thanks to Mary Vallier-Kaplan and Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm in Peterborough, New Hampshire for hosting me recently. A vibrant community in a beautiful setting! Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director

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

Forming** = 130
**Thirty forming groups have acquired land they plan to develop
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Fair Oaks Eco Housing hit a milestone for sustainable recognition last month. Members were rewarded for their efforts to seek endorsement from the Environmental Council of Sacramento ...Their endorsement puts a local accolade in the group's cap, and placed cohousing in the Sacramento Bee.

East Lake Commons Atlanta Magazine Located on 20 acres just a few miles east of downtown, East Lake Commons is a community built around intergenerational cohousing and shared resources.  

...raising [21-month old son] Connor in the right environ-ment by way of "free-range parenting" was a major factor in choosing to pursue that lifestyle, says James and Rebecca Gammon, future residents of Emerson Commons near Charlottesville, Virginia.

"At the end of the day, the huge psychological benefit of living together so outweighs the antsy-pantsy things you've got to compromise on with housemates," says Carol Gee.