Cohousing Now!
Endings and Beginnings

2018 Endings and 2019 Beginnings

2018 Endings

In the year 2018 we marked some exciting firsts for The Cohousing Association of the US. One of them is that we did an Annual Report webinar on the eve of Giving Tuesday; we think it was a great success and a fabulous way to wrap up the year.  Other fabulous firsts: We hosted not one, but two regional conferences; we launched a series of WebChats; we hired an associate director to focus on the renewal of our website and the creation of a Facebook group as a forum for conversation.

Read on for more details of a great year for cohousing!

2018 Cohousing Stats at year end
Established Communities = 168
Forming Communities = 144
That's 312 cohousing communities with an average of 24 units equals 7488 units. Assuming an average of 2 people in each unit that is nearly 15,000 cohousers in the US!
Cohousing Association Staff = 3
Cohousing Association Board members = 7

2018 Annual Report Webinar
It was fantastic to have so many people tuning in to our 2018 Annual Report webinar! There were 38 different communities from 4 different countries listening as well as dozens of folks creating cohousing or simply wanting to learn more about it!  We cohousers as individuals are stronger together as community and can accomplish more!

The way we choose to live in community can lead to more happiness and better health, it can support families as they grow and combat loneliness as we age. When we connect, we inspire and nurture each other, we learn from others and share resources, we have fun! Join us on facebook, post on the list serve, visit nearby communities, have a neighbor for dinner. Together...we can create community one neighborhood at a time.

Click here to watch the full length Annual Report video webinar

Board of Directors of CohoUS
The work of the association is guided by a Board of Directors (link here for BOD ).

Board Structure
Our board is a working board meaning board members chair and work on committees to complete tasks needed by the association. In addition there is an executive committee made up of a president who leads the board and guides the meetings, (a) vice president(s) who oversees the membership of the board and guides prospective board members through the application process, a secretary who keeps and distributes minutes and a treasurer who manages the financial accounts, taxes and other accounting matters.  

The Board meets monthly for a 90 minute zoom meeting and works together by email in between calls.  In addition, board members serve on committees to complete specific tasks.

Joining the Board
Anyone may apply to join the Board of Directors.  The current board approves new board members to meet the needs of the organization including representation of all regions of the country, skills in organization, fundraising and other needs, and experience or expertise relating to the cohousing movement. ( click here for application)

2018 Board Retreat
The board met in Boulder in April to connect with one another and plan for upcoming projects.  For some board members this was a first time to meet each other in person. The morning session was all about sharing our vision of the association and for cohousing in the US.  

These primary focus areas emerged:
  • Website update, specifically to improve organization so information is more accessible and to update the look of the website.
  • Business development, including how to strengthen donation program allowing the association of offer more in the way of advocacy, education and general resources.
  • Develop and support regional organizations. Regions share many things in common and communities within a region have many opportunities to share information, resources and fellowship.  Two regions were selected to be pilot programs for regional organization: Rocky Mountain and Northwest.
  • Support of new communities in any way we can, in particular by sharing information and lessons learned.  We plan to create kits of information that will help forming communities at each stage of their development  Many communities use our blog to answer questions and attract new members on Facebook; our communications networks allows forming communities to get their questions answered at any stage of development.

Staff of CohoUS
We have three staff members who keep the day to day needs of the organization running and participate in special projects.
Executive Director Karin Hoskin (full time) oversees all the activities of the organization, provides guidance to the board, and implements many of our programs.
Associate Director Karen Gimnig (part time) works on outreach with particular focus on the website.  See the Website Renewal section of this report for more details on her largest project.
Bookkeeper Rosie Sullivan  (part time) makes sure bills are paid and books are balanced.
Volunteers are a very important part of what allows CohoUS to bring services and events to cohousing communities and cities across the US.  In addition to our all volunteer board of directors, volunteers staff our events, manage our list serve, plan our conferences, write for our blog and more.  
Volunteers are welcome to serve on our committees or to join us in supporting the mission of cohousing in any way they can. Karin and Karen are always glad to talk to you about how you can help cohousing thrive and grow in the US.  

CohoUS has an overall net positive operating budget. Income includes sponsorships, donations and advertising. Expenses include website design/development/hosting and payroll. Conferences have not only the largest income, but also the largest expenses associated; the every-other-year national conferences tend to have higher net profit, balancing out the non-national years.

CohoUS Committees

Fundraising and Development Committee
Community and Individual donations are one of our most important income streams.  We are working harder than ever to encourage communities (at $25 per household annually) to support the organization that exists to support them.  A growing number of individuals are giving recurring monthly donations which helps us with a more consistent income stream to go along with community gifts that are usually an annual check.  Be on the lookout in 2019 as we roll out new programs for sponsors and supporters. Click here to donate

Website Committee
The Website Renewal program was launched at the board retreat in April of 2018. It soon became clear that this important project needed more focused time than our volunteers were able to give it, so in July, the Association hired Karen Gimnig to oversee the project.  A primary goal is to organize the information so it is more easily accessed by users. The new site will include a redesigned structure, making it much easier to find what you are looking for. The website will keep the most popular features, including the directory and classified ads and will expand the resources available drawing from Cohousing-L and the cohousing community to offer more information, more photos and more opportunities for connection.  

The new look was created by a graphic designer and is being implemented by website developers.  Look for the new website to roll out ahead of the 2019 National Conference with content continuing to be added throughout 2019 and beyond.   Peter Lazar, BOD president, has been instrumental in overseeing and offering technical advice for the project.

Directory Committee
A concentrated effort to make sure the listings in the directory are up to date and accurate; also outreach to newly forming communities to add them to the directory.

Regional Organization Committee
Two regions were selected to be pilot programs for regional organization:  Rocky Mountain and Northwest.

Conference Committee
The planning for the national cohousing conference in 2019 is well underway; this committee will be working on offerings for 2020

2018 Events

2018 Regional Conferences

Boulder, CO welcomed nearly 200 attendees in April at the Regional Cohousing Conference. Offered was a full day of intensives, a day of sessions, a night out on the town and bus tours visiting cohousing communities. We enjoyed many amazing speakers including special guests Katie McCamant, Yana (Ma'ikwe) Ludwig and David Barrett.

Amherst, MA welcomed nearly 200 attendees in September at the Northeast Summit. Offered was a full day of intensives, a day of sessions, a barbecue dinner and dance party closing with self guided tour options at many different communities. Fantastic speakers included Laura Fitch, Mary Kraus and storyteller John Porcino.

2018 National Open House Day
A great success, with over 60 Communities participating! Many smiles were shared as communities opened their homes and people across the US got to experience a bit of cohousing.  

2018 WebChats  
WebChats are a well received new offering of Cohousing US. A WebChat is a one hour event that takes place on Zoom.  For our launch series, we focused on process and facilitation professionals. Each presenter shared 15 to 30 minutes of prepared content and then took questions from the group for the remainder of the hour. In 2018 we enjoyed:

Jerry Koch-Gonzalez - Facilitating While Listening
Karein Gimnig - Getting Connected
Laird Schaub - Working Constructively with Emotions
Yana Ludwig - Introduction to Consensus
Ted Rau - Making Meetings Short(er)
Alan O'Hashi - Facilitation Techniques

Video recording of past WebChats can be viewed here .

2019 Beginnings

2019 Webchats

In 2019 we will expand the program to make it a weekly event and include a broader variety of cohousing topics.  Schedule of upcoming WebChats can be viewed ( click here ).

2019 National Open House Day

National Cohousing Open House day will be held on Saturday April 27th, 2019
More information and to include your community click here

2019 National Cohousing Conference

"Cohousing for the Health of It"  has been in the works for all of 2018. The event which will take place in Portland May 30 - June 2, 2019 has already had the support of many cohousing volunteers with more to come.  You can look forward to our usual conference offerings: pre-conference intensives, a great keynote by Courtney Martin, education sessions, and community tours with plenty of time for conversation and friendly connection. Click here for more information.

Continue to connect with Cohousing:

Through our CohoUS website ( click here )
With each other on Cohousing - L listserv ( click here )
Cohousing Now! eNews ( click here )
Using social media Facebook page (click here for FB page) and ( click here for FB group )
Twitter feed @cohousing

Connect with one of us specifically:

Karin Hoskin (pronounced car-in) is our Executive Director and most email would be addressed to her at
Karen Gimnig (pronounced care-en) is our Associate Director and welcomes email about website, webchats, facebook and the like at

As we go from 2018 to 2019, consider what we can become when supported by community. My intention is to be the best 'me' that I can be when supporting my community.

Conferences & Events

Registration will officially open January 15th !

this will include the entire speaker line-up, pre-conference bus tours and intensives and the post-conference open houses.
Click here for more details 

CohoUS is teaming up with our cohousing professionals to bring people together to talk about cohousing. The presenter shares 10-15 minutes on a named topic and then answers questions from participants about the topic

Coming in January 2019:

Ronnie Rosenbaum, Improving Communication
Tue, Jan 8th 6pm MST
Zoom here

Katie McCamant, Hiring Professionals
Tue, Jan 15th 6pm MST
Fri, Jan 25th 6pm MST 

Please join us for the next WebChat.
click here for more details

For more information or to RSVP for your community to participate, click here.

Why I Love to Take Out the Trash
~by Karen Gimnig

As it happens, the community dumpster is on the far end of the community from my unit, so taking out the trash takes more time than it did back when I had my own curbside pickup. Funny thing is that despite it taking much longer (sometimes an hour or two!), it's become my favorite chore. I could try to explain my reasons, but I think instead I'll just tell you the stories.

click here to read more

Power Outage in Cohousing
~by Mary Kraus

In October 2011 in this part of Massachusetts, we had an unusual snowfall. Leaves were still on the trees, but big, fat flakes of wet snow fell from the sky. As the snow kept coming down, there was an increasing chance that snow-laden tree branches might fall on power lines and cause an outage. Now it just so happened that I wanted to thaw out a whole chicken that night to bake the next day. But I have an electric range (which, by the way, is what I recommend for good indoor air quality). My husband and I put our heads together, and decided that if we lost power, we could always bring the thawed chicken down to the common house, and bake it in the gas-fired oven in our common kitchen.

click   here to read more

Call To Action

Unite Cohousers!
~by Micah Allen

It is time, my cohousing compadres, 
to plan for total global domination.

We shall train an army of children to storm the streets on tricycles, tear up pavement and leave greenspace in their wake. We'll crush the fearful isolated suburbanites with a brutal onslaughts of holiday cookies, smiling neighbors, and spontaneous music jam sessions. Entire sprawling neighborhoods will get buried under tiny-home urban infill, lush organic gardens, and cooperative agreements. We will subvert the corporate HOAs and zoning boards with conversation and consensus.

This war will not be easy and we have started out vastly outnumbered. Our rugged individualist opponents will fight tooth and nail for their manifest right to loneliness, vast expanses of lawn and not knowing the name of the humans who live closest to them. Their spirit will be crushed with kindness and community. Failing that, they will live to see their children defect from their home plasma TV to join the giggling masses of pals scampering around the adjoining community. These children lost to the post-war-suburban-building philosophies will be gone for good; as adults they just won't understand why their parents thought it so important to separate us by age, income, race and family.

Cohousing is not for everyone. But it is for most people, even though most haven't realized it yet. Having lived in or visited communities across the country I see that our pioneering compadres have established a beachhead, fortresses from which we can go on the offense. Every time our opponents strike with accusations of naïve idealism we can parry with a pleasant walk through common space, an invitation to a community dinner, or an example of the obvious benefits of cooperation.

We are in the early stages of a long and complicated war. But we can win because our weapons are superior: Cooperation simply works better than competition for most things on a neighborhood scale. People tend to like people, when they talk to them. Genetically, even the most solitary Homo Sapiens are pack animals.

Unite, Cohousers. 
You have nothing to lose but your sprawl!

CohoUS Notes

Contributing to blog 
or Cohousing Now! eNews:

We welcome blog text and newsletter articles from cohousers, those forming communities and cohousing professionals. We are a clearinghouse for all things cohousing and we want to offer as many perspectives and as broad a viewpoint as possible.

You may have noticed that the majority of our blogs are written by CohoUS staff. This is not by choice. We'd much prefer to have all of you submitting success stories, challenges overcome, and lessons learned to share with each other. Even better if you send photos to go with them!

If it has to do with cohousing, it is welcome in our blog, with a few conditions:
~It must be a story, advice or shared information. It cannot be primarily an advertisement for your product or services.
~It must be clean and well written.
~It must be relevant to cohousing.

In addition we may hold blog posts for a period of time to make them fit well in the overall blog program of the website.

Please note that we do not pay for blog posts and do not charge you to publish them. We will list you as the author and it is appropriate to list your email and website at the end of the blog if you choose.

When you have a story to share, 

We're looking forward to hearing from you!


Established Communities = 168
Forming Communities = 144

Are you a part of a new or existing community that would like to be listed in the communities directory? You can be added by clicking here.

Like receiving eNews? Please support Coho/US, serving as a clearinghouse and connector to grow and nurture cohousing across the country. 

Homes for Sale

Seeking Members

New homes ready for new members in Iowa City

Heartwood Cohousing near Bayfield plans to expand
~By Mary Shinn 

Becky Logan moved into Heartwood Cohousing near Bayfield in November because she was looking for a community after years of traveling in an RV.

She was drawn to cohousing by the tight-knit relationships the living arrangement fosters. It would have taken her years of building relationships through a church and other social activities to establish the same sense of community that is a natural part of living in  Heartwood.

In the Bayfield cohousing community, homes are owned privately, but residents collectively own and manage a greenhouse, woodshop, community building, land and other shared assets. The residents also plan community meals, work days and other events geared toward building relationships.

"There are events and activities that I can immediately be part of. I just love it," Logan said.
click here to read more

Couple creating cohousing community in Point Loma
"We had one year of traveling under our belt before landing in Vancouver," says Condon. "There, we stumbled upon a cohousing lecture given by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett, the couple that brought the cohousing concept from Denmark to the U.S. They've written several books on the subject."

Continuing on with their travels, Condon and Aulicino, now in their mid-60s, ended up visiting 15 cohousing communities in six different states, plus British Columbia. 

"We emerged themselves in this newfound passion of ours," says Condon. "Stefania would set up appointments with cohousing members. We visited a brand new, four-story, urban cohousing community in North Carolina, and were so impressed with what we saw, we knew this lifestyle was for us."

No longer wanting to deal with cold winters, they made several trips to San Diego before they decided that the city had everything they wanted - except a cohousing community.
click here to read more 

In this housing development, community is the keystone
by R.A. Shuetz

Nazia Iftekhar, 35, imagines a life for her 3-year-old son in which all of his neighbors know his name. She pictures a community filled with people who take the time to chat with him and enrich his life, a place where a young Muslim man is part of the social fabric, instead of subject to suspicion.

Kathy Kokas, 63, is looking to retire around people of diverse ages and interests, where she can engage with the next generations who, one day, can help her in return as age takes its toll. "You know, these days, that you don't rely that you're going to move in with your children," she said.

Iftekhar and Kokas hope to realize their different dreams at the same place - a housing development where community is the most important amenity. They are among the 35 people who are spearheading a project that would become the first cohousing development in Texas.
click here to read more

Additions to Directory:

We at CohoUS are working earnestly to make sure these Community Directory listings are as up to date as possible. Please review your listing and make edits as needed.   Thank you!