July 2019
Cohousing Now!
What’s Next?

I n the cycles of life there are times for looking back and times for planning ahead. For the staff of the Cohousing Association, this summer marks a time of looking ahead. As always, we are asking ourselves how we can best serve the community of cohousers, present and future, and the movement of cohousing with all the good it does in the world. 

O f course the hardest work to create connections and community is done by the people who live it every day, growing the sense of community in their own neighborhoods and creating the new communities that mark exciting growth for our movement. Our role at the association is to support that work. As we look ahead to 2020, we are asking ourselves, how can we best support the people and communities who are making cohousing happen every day? 

I t is with that question in mind that we are planning the CohoUS-sponsored activities for 2020, and we’re excited to share that we are taking a new approach. We’ve heard how much you love coming together for conferences, and we’ve heard that it’s easier for you to attend events closer to home. We’ve heard that you love to get together with other cohousers and that it is particularly useful to gather with other cohousers in your part of the country. As you might imagine, it’s a bit tricky to plan an event that will meet these geographic preferences for folks in Washington State AND Washington DC, for Californians AND New Englanders. So we’ve decided not to have AN event in 2020, or even two events, but many events all over the country, and a few nationwide online events for those who don’t want to leave home at all, but want to connect with others around the country. 

T o make this happen, we’ll be partnering with communities, professionals, seekers and burning souls around the country to create day-long and weekend events that bring together communitarians in your region to talk about the things that interest you. We envision tours, workshops, and public talks about cohousing along with social gatherings, meals, and a dance party or two. We’re betting you have even more great ideas: a community campout? Show and tell? A collaborative service project? Bring your ideas, your passion, your organizational skills, and your knowledge of the local area. We’re here to supply event experience, templates for success, marketing, and technical support for things like registration and managing the money of it all. 

C oming together across the nation, we’re looking forward to creating this series of events for 2020 that we’re calling the Simple Series. Simple because each event will be fairly small in scale. Series because there is no end to the fun and learning we can have together. We hope some events will be organized by forming communities looking to bring cohousing energy to their part of the world. We hope others will be cohousing veterans ready to share what they have learned with the next generation. Still others will gather around questions we haven’t completely answered yet. The sky is the limit. 
If you have ideas or questions, or just want to chat about what might be, we’re eager to talk to you. We don’t know yet what 2020 will bring, but we do know this: When cohousers come together creativity and passion pour out and exciting things being to happen. What can we build with you in 2020?

CohoUS Staff

S imple Series is coming in 2020 and this is your chance to tell us what you want!

I n 2020, The Cohousing Association will host a series of simple events around the country. Current plans include tours, workshops, and online conferences. We welcome event ideas, sponsors, hosts and planners in every part of the US.

W hat would you like to see included in this versatile program? Share your thoughts on our feedback form here .

 Tue, Aug 6
Joe Cole
Culture Change and Personal Transformation in Community
Creating community is an opportunity to build collaborative institutions and a culture of cooperation and care. It’s also an opportunity (and challenge) for personal growth and transformation. What does a culture of care and cooperation look like? And how does creating and living in a cooperative culture call on us as individuals to transform? 
Wed, Aug 14
Laura Fitch

Design Programming 

Making decisions about architectural design is complicated and potential stressful. Up front “programming” is critical. We’ll discuss ideas for successful design decision making.
5pm PT, 6pm MT, 7pm CT, 8pm ET
meeting id 202941610
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W hat?! You won the lottery?

Please show your support of the work that CohoUS does to educate and advocate for cohousing by donating HERE!

oh, it wasn't the mega powerball lottery that you won, but actually the opportunity to live in community?

That too is a winning!

Please show your support of the work that CohoUS does to educate and advocate for cohousing by donating HERE!
We Welcome Your Stories
Some of our favorite blogs are stories by people just like you. Tell us about your favorite community experience, your biggest learning, the beautiful thing your neighbor did. We'd love to share it. Submit to: karencohous@gmail.com
Cohousing and Activism
- or -
Get Off the Couch and Do Something!!

By Linda Herman, VP CohoUS Board and Class of 2016 Activist

At a recent CohoUSA Board retreat, we were discussing the “why” of cohousing. And the phrase “it will save the world” was often thrown out there as we really do believe that if we all lived in community, really knew our neighbors and truly cared for each other’s well-being as we do in cohousing, the world would be a much better place to live. Absolutely, no doubt.

However, what I am struck by is that all that wonderfulness typically occurs only within an individual cohousing community, not to the wider community. We (by we, I mean the Coho Board and me as an individual) don’t hear reports of how a cohousing community is helping out at a food bank, or homeless shelter, or helping fight the injustices we see on a daily basis. Courtney Martin spoke to this at the recent National Cohousing conference in Portland. 

She spoke openly and honestly about the homeless community in her neighborhood and how her cohousing community is doing nothing to help these people. On our monthly Board calls, I typically report about something related to activism and am the only one with a story. 

The point of this is not to spread shame and guilt but to bring attention to how we ALL have a responsibility to contribute to changing our world, particularly in these harsh and scary times. Cohousing communities are poised to easily contribute in ways that extend outside of their boundaries.

Not sure how? I’m glad you asked. Here’s the top 3 (in my humble opinion) of ways cohousing communities can contribute to the greater good:

Join a group that aligns with cohousing values. As we know, we are a horribly divided society. There are groups working specifically to help bridge the divide. We recommend Living Room Conversations ( livingroomconversations.org ) or Better A ngels ( better-angels.org ) . Host events and participate in these conversations. Show the way!

No matter your personal cause ie - the environment, social justice, prison reform, etc, nothing will happen until the current administration is thrown out; you know who I mean. Many groups are working on voter registration, gerrymandering, voter suppression. Offer, for free, your Common Houses/spaces to local grass roots groups for their meetings and/or actions. Finding inexpensive or free space to hold meetings and actions is an on-going challenge for many groups. Reach out to your local Swing Left ( swingleft.org ), Sister District ( www.sisterdistrict.org ), Indivisible ( www.indivisible.org ), ACLU, etc. All these groups are fighting the good fight to save our democracy and need space in order to do so.

Get involved in these groups, just don’t offer space. Help them! We cannot do it without everyone’s participation.

The main lesson I have gotten out of being a new activist is that citizen engagement is where its at! Democracy doesn’t work unless we all play a part. We are great citizens within our chosen cohousing communities, now let’s get out there in a bigger way and help save the world!

the opinions of this author are not necessarily the same opinions held by all CohoUS BOD members or cohousers nationwide
In the News
Looking at the latest trend in housing: cohousing

The latest trend in housing is not getting an apartment, condo or triplex, it's cohousing. Organizers describe cohousing as "a community designed with private homes and a commitment to share common facilities and activities."

aired on KSTP news
photo capture KSTP
click here to watch video
Today’s intentional communities may look like the communes of yesteryear, but they don’t operate like them

And while you can still find ’60s-style communes featuring a single, shared residence, the more common type of modern communal-living arrangement  is referred to as an “intentional community ,” a version of which is cohousing.

Cohousing arrangements typically combine the concepts of shared lifestyle and responsibilities with added privacy, and consist of individual residences built amongst shared public spaces.

published in Considerable
photo Foundation for Intentional Community
click here for full article
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Cohousing Now!   provides news and events on Cohousing... Now! provided by The Cohousing Association of the United States. Please forward to your friends, communities, and other lists to spread the word about cohousing!  
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