2018 Endings and 2019 Beginnings
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.
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
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. (
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.
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.
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.
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.
The planning for the national cohousing conference in 2019 is well underway; this committee will be working on offerings for 2020
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.
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
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 (
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
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.
for more information.
Continue to connect with Cohousing:
With each other on Cohousing - L listserv (
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.