Cohousing Now!
National Cohousing Open House Day 4/19/17
Plans are underway for our 2nd annual National Cohousing Open House Day, the last Saturday in April. Such synergy we created last year - as a national movement, within our network of area communities, and within our individual communities! We enjoyed participation from 95 communities across the country who opened their doors and welcomed the public. 2017 should be even bigger!

Open houses are great opportunities for communities to recruit members and educate the public, but coordinated open houses across the country have the potential to exponentially increase the amount of attention these events receive. We want cohousing to become mainstream. We want the ideas, the models, the principles, the culture of cohousing to influence the conventional wisdom of residential development. The National Open House Day is an opportunity to raise visibility about cohousing in a major way.  From our April 30, 2016 inaugural Open House Day:

It was like a party! I was an informal greeter and met so many interesting and lively people. Maybe....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 (California)

The add on events and creative activities were impressive, from meals, to kids activities, to workshops on renewable energy and sociocracy. Green Grove Coho in Oregon hosted a live bluegrass jam along with family-friendly cooperative games, crafts and demos. Burlington East Village in Vermont offered crafts, music, a pre May Day parade, and a pot luck dinner. Many communities collaborated regionally, from hosting forming groups to sponsoring joint events. 

Learn more and sign up on our Open House Community Page. Later this winter, we will promote your community as "open for visitors" with links to your event. There is no cost to communities, nor will there be a cost to the public. Coho/US is providing the national framework and online marketing for your event to be a success. Funding for this event are made possible by your annual community donations We hope you will join us!
Alice Alexander , Coho/US Executive Director
Conferences & Events

Registration launches January 1st. Meanwhile, check out our sessions and intensives and schedule, and more info. Join us!
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We thank our early sponsors:

Sustaining Sponsors


Supporting Sponsors                             

National Cooperative Bank                       

Boulder Community Media                 Community Sponsors      

New American Villages                       California Cohousing

                                                             Germantown Commons

                                                              SageHill Partners

                                                               Village Hearth

Cost of Living in Cohousing? You Can Help ...
Philip Dowds, Coho/US Treasurer + Angela Sanguinetti, CRN Director
The Cohousing Research Network and Coho/US are collaborating on a "cost of living in cohousing" research project. Our intent is to collect new and more detailed information on community budget and finance, and make a report at the May  2017 National Cohousing Conference.
How You Can Help. Our methodology is simple:  Just send us your stuff. The same stuff your community and its members rely upon for budget and finance matters. In particular, what would be useful to us are ... Your most recently adopted annual budget agreement, as consensed by your community at the beginning of the fiscal year.... We'd like to see the whole proposal you processed and adopted, including schedule/timeline, text narratives, tables of numbers - whatever it was you considered during the budget adoption process. We do not need to see any information about the fees or dues assigned to individual units...Read more or email costofliving@cohousingresearchnetwork.org
Defining Cooperative Culture
Laird Schaub: Laird's Blog
There's a prevalent style of facilitation that's mostly passive-where the person running the meeting isn't doing much more than deciding who'll talk next, punctuated by the occasional need to blow the whistle, perhaps to signal that time has expired or to announce a restart, either to referee moments of fulminating tension or to cut through the fog of creeping chaos.

In the interest of safeguarding their neutrality-necessary to be an effective referee-facilitators will often adopt a style that scrupulously steers clear of offering suggestions about how to handle issues on the table. As a facilitation trainer, however, that's not what I teach. Rather, I prefer that facilitators be open to the possibility of their having insights into good solutions that can accelerate bringing the ship into a safe harbor.  read more  
Planning Commissions - Support for your Application 
Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director
I recently spoke before a Planning Commission in support of Village Hearth Cohousing. Many of you will remember - or are gearing up for - addressing issues of parking, road access, home clustering and more, to obtain approval for building.  If helpful, I am sharing my remarks (click here). My aim was to:
* Establish cohousing as a normal and beneficial housing structure, one that enjoys support from a national association;
* Provide credibility that cohousing is a strong and successful housing development model;
* Raise awareness that cohousing communities are part of the new sharing economy being sought by individuals and families who seek to live more sustainably and in community with neighbors;
* Explain that cohousing provides an innovative way to address changing demographics and the roles traditionally played by extended families;
* Assure that cohousing communities are strong financially and present a good investment, with very few foreclosures even in the most troubled markets during the recession;
* Offer the added benefit that cohousing facilitates civic engagement...  read more
Living in Community
Grateful for Community
Katie McCamant, Nevada City Cohousing (California)
As we near the end of 2016, we who are so lucky to live in community have much to be grateful for; most importantly: good, caring neighbors who are willing to actively engage in the process of creating great neighborhoods to grow up in, and to age in.
As we ponder the state of the world this holiday season, it appears the art of conversation and dialogue is ever more important.  How can we best work together to meet our diverse needs? How can I be better at truly hearing you? By sharing my own vulnerabilities, can I help to create a "safe" place for others? When I see you take action, I too am inspired to do my part to create a fairer world.
In our communities, we practice and refine our communication skills, our ability to work collaboratively, and most importantly, to always treat all people with respect. We model a world we dream of for our children, and our children take it forth into the world in so many different ways.
May the holiday season bring you opportunities to appreciate what we have created together, and may the new year bring you and your family and community even more opportunities to practice these skills as we seek to build a more respectful and sustainable world.     With Much Gratitude,  Katie
Coho/US Notes
Keeping Us Alive and Well
Your Cohousing Association is, thank you, alive and well - but only as long as we receive financial support from our communities and individuals. Coho/US is by design a lean and mean organization; our financial needs are modest, but we do need steady support.
Please   Donate Now . You will feel good, I promise.
Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director
P.S . Gifts are tax deductible. 

A Legacy Continues with Joani Blank
Joani Blank, a cohousing pioneer who passed last August, has continued her impact with a legacy gift to Coho/US. We are pleased and humbled to receive this gift, and inspired to do more.  Joani was instrumental in the growth and impact of cohousing, particularly in advising countless individuals and groups on developing and enhancing community. Coho/US and the cohousing movement benefited from Joani's commitment and leadership over many years, especially in our early days. We look forward to capitalizing on Joani's generosity to strengthen the organization and expand our initiatives.  In providing this gift, Joani's philanthropic advisor shared these sentiments:  Thank you for all you do for the world. Joani smiles and cheers us all on from her place of greater peace.  Thank you, Joani.

Established Communities = 163
---Completed = 147
---Building = 16

Forming** = 134
**Thirty three forming groups have acquired land they plan to develop
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National Cooperative Bank

 

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Cohousing: The New American Family  

Christianity Today examines how cohousing's "radical hospitality" can be an inspiration and opportunity for churches to follow.  "When Courtney Martin first joined Temescal Commons, it was a simple explanation of group meal logistics that brought her to tears. In a world where people live in 'a constant state of application' in applying to jobs and schools and for mortgages and insurance, etc, being welcomed and deemed worthy simply for showing up was a complete reversal."

Boston Globe
Cornerstone Village in Cambridge
"Five years ago, I was thinking pretty hard about what it was about college that I missed," said Peter Goldstein, 30, a Google software engineer and a founding member of Bay State Commons. "I missed the opportunity to go to public spaces, whether the dining hall or the library or the lounge in the dorm and run into people and have positive meaningful interactions there."

...
it takes time for projects to come to fruition. Lots of time, especially when it comes to assembling land in a city where single lots cost millions. It also requires a group to stick together and handle myriad details through the lengthy development period.
That's where Our Urban Village comes in - it tweaked the cohousing concept and turned it into what's been dubbed "cohousing lite."
 
New Resources