Cohousing Now!
Quiet Revolution Ready to Get Louder 

My first experience with an intentional community was at the University of Michigan.  Looking for an alternative to dorm living, I moved into Xanadu, one of the many coops operated by the Inter-Cooperative Council. It was populated by the most amazingly diverse group of people. Our attempts at collective decision making were a wild ride. I remember one particularly polarizing topic that we argued about, having to do with our over-sized fireplace. The way forward was perfectly clear to my arrogant self, and the obstinacy of my housemates just fueled my frustration. One opponent particularly got my goat with her objections to every solution I offered. She and I never did come to an agreement about the fireplace. After 36 years of marriage she still reminds me to be patient, and that listening and understanding is of far greater value than the tussle of who is right and wrong.

 

My community journey began at Xanadu and continues to this day at the Hundredfold Farm Cohousing Community. I have learned so much from so many over those intervening years. I like to believe I am becoming a better person due my efforts to fulfill my role as an active participant in community. The skills I continue to work on are not only a benefit here at home, they have been of service in my life outside the bubble of my community. I do not think I am off the mark if I state that interpersonal and collaborative process skills of cohousers are a rare commodity. A daily reading of the news just reinforces that perspective.
 

Cohousing is a quiet revolution that is ready to get louder. It is not a secret to you and I that cohousing is more than just about housing. The hardest thing that humans do is to live together. Cohousers endeavor to succeed at that hard thing because we recognize the necessity and value of working together. What we do does not come easily, so the skills in making cohousing work would be of great value in in addressing the many social, economic and environmental challenges of modern life. Whether it is me, you, or the generations of cohousers yet to come, directly or by example, cohousers will play an important role in the creation of a sustainable future. Your support of Coho/US is a good investment toward that end. Yours in community,

Bill Hartzell, Board President 

Tours & Events
 National Cohousing Conference - May 29-31, 2015
Save the date! The conference promises amazing offerings: 
from innovative approaches to developing new and affordable communities,
to potent ways to enhance our vibrant communities. We'll cover cohousing basics as well as hot topics in sustainability, community building, and the evolving definition of cohousing. Our "next generation theme," will explore the new wave of urban, senior and agricultural communities, check in with our now-adult children of cohousing, and celebrate communities that have thrived for over 20 years. A packed agenda yes, but plenty of time for networking, special gatherings, and fun!
Read more for details, and sneak preview of offerings, and visit our
  

Regional Cohousing Conferences

You spoke and we heard! Coho/US will sponsor more Regional Cohousing Conferences, in alternating years with a biennial (every 2 years) National Cohousing Conference, and possibly more. Interested in helping to host? Contact conference@cohousing.org 

Cohousing Effort in Charlotte Fizzles

Roger Grosswald, a commercial real estate manager, worm farmer and food waste-reduction consultant, formed a Charlotte cohousing group two years ago; 70 members joined. Before running into zoning and financing issues, Grosswald planned to build 33 units on a 26-acre hardwood-forested plot. "It's loud and clear that people want this type of community," he said of successes around the country. "If you build it, you fill it in a moment."  read more 

People First, Things Second

By Wendy Wiesner

Tiny Houses and shared living arrangements are currently hot topics on the coho-l list serve, tapping into the consistently popular themes of affordability and simplicity. Can these now-trendy models that trade-off square footage and private amenities for more affordable, manageable lives deliver on our high expectations? Since cohousing has already been doing precisely this for over 30 years, incorporating the lessons learned from it makes sense.read more 

Closing Contact with the Third Rail of Distress    Laird's Blog   Almost all people living in intentional community--as well as those aspiring to--value good communication. After all, the heart of community is relationship and that's pretty hard to develop and sustain with weak communication. That said, all conditions under which communication is attempted are not equal. read more
Make Others Look Good
In principle, a good team is a group of people who try to make each other look good. Harry Truman said, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." Similarly, we can spend huge amounts of energy caring about who gets the blame. To make good group decisions, we support each other going forward and we give credit for success to the group.
Practical Tip: Give your ideas and efforts to the group, without conditions, without lingering ownership. Show public appreciation for others in your group. Own your share of things gone wrong and share credit with others for things gone right.

End Notes
Walnut Commons in Santa Cruz sent this delightful note with a gift: "Our community is just a few months in our new building and we have many expenses as we settle in....we do see the value of Coho/US and hope that in the future we may do more." How wonderful! If you have not given please consider; to help with community conversations visit Budgeting Time & Considering Gifts

Gifts from individuals are tax deductible and appreciated. Consider this an investment in your cohousing legacy!
Donate Now! 
Thanks for reading
Cohousing Now! provides news and events on Cohousing... Now! From Coho/US, the Cohousing Association of the United States, Cohousing Now! is emailed monthly. Please forward to your friends, communities, and other mailing lists to help spread the word about cohousing - now! 

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Resources
2015 National Cohousing Conference Flyer - for posting on your community bulletin board

Cohousing Brochure Use as a recruiting tool for members, and an education tool for the public. 

New Cohousing Directory Listing:
Quimper Village Port Townsend WA

Connecting cohousers and seekers with housing, and communities.