CoHousing Solutions Newsletter | July 2022

Blood, sweat & tears pay off

for Heartwood Commons

Heartwood Commons Members visit their brand new common house!

Heartwood Commons is a senior cohousing community nearing construction completion in urban Tulsa, OK. They're building 36 units in one of the most affordable cities in America, according to to Rocket Homes— which means your cohousing dollars go farther at Heartwood Commons. 

Founding Member Suzy Sharp credits much of the group's success to guidance from Oakcreek Community's residents in Stillwater, OK. After Suzy and her friends learned about cohousing, they toured Oakcreek in 2017. That site tour lit the flame for what became Heartwood Commons. "The first time I set foot in Stillwater, I called my daughter and said 'I found out how I wanna live the rest of my life,'" Suzy reminisced. Throughout the development of Heartwood Commons, Oakcreek Community provided emotional support, senior-centric design tips and a healthy perspective.

Heartwood Commons got serious in 2017 and hired Katie McCamant to host a Getting-It-Built Workshop before contracting her as a Development Consultant. Architects Molly Jones and Bryan Bowen proved critical to the project. Molly's local connections and Bryan's cohousing experience expedited the city's site plan approvals. When it comes to forming communities, we cannot stress the importance of good cohousing consultants enough.

"The thing that made the difference was hiring Katie, there's no doubt about it," Suzy said, "she's guided

us and advised us every step of the way."

Heartwood Commons Members are moving from California, Washington, Florida, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Texas and beyond. In order to connect with Explorers and Members who live(d) out of state, Heartwood Commons has held happy hours, coffee klatches and game nights on Zoom. They have made time to connect with existing Explorers and Members, rather than focusing all their attention on attracting new Members — something not every group achieves.

Members Mike and Audrey are moving from Fayetteville, AR. The couple joined the Heartwood Commons in 2020. Instead of wasting money on month-to-month rent, they recently decided to take their camper and road trip for three months while they wait for their new home. Mike and Audrey plan to visit Minnesota, Iowa and New York while they wait for construction to wrap up. They considered retirement homes, but it just didn't feel right.

"We visited a couple of retirement places here, and it felt like a place you go to die, but Heartwood is definitely a place you go to live," Mike said.

Coming from Arkansas, they didn't know what to expect. Mike and Audrey were pleasantly surprised by the plethora of activities within Tulsa's city limits. Originally from Minnesota, it was important for them to live somewhere without harsh winters. When asked what it feels like to be so close to move-in, laughter filled the call. "I don't even have words. I feel like I'm bubbling inside!" Audrey said. In fact, their best friends from Fayetteville were so impressed, they decided to follow Mike and Audrey to Heartwood Commons.

Heartwood Commons plans to move in later this year, and they still have two units available! They are both ~1,000 sqft, 2 bed/1 bath units. If you're interested, now is the time to strike! Call Suzy at 918-519-5298 or email to learn more.

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REGISTER: National Cohousing Conference

August 26-28

Time to register for The National Cohousing Conference is running out! Don't miss your opportunity to learn from cohousing professionals, forming and established communities. These conferences offer a wealth of information and connections for anyone interested in cohousing and any stage of cohousing (seeking, forming, and long-time living in cohousers). We look forward to seeing lots of new and old friends in Madison, WI this August. Katie will offer a Pre-Conference Intensive and three Sessions, with more details below!

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The Cohousing Development Process:

Lessons from 30 Years in the Trenches

Friday, August 26

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Katie McCamant, coauthor of Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities, will host a full-day intensive at the National Cohousing Conference in Madison. Learn firsthand from the woman who brought cohousing to North America. Katie spent decades as a cohousing architect, developer and resident. Her pre-conference intensive is useful to both professionals and forming communities alike. The workshop will introduce participants to the roles and responsibilities of different players in the development process. Katie will also dive into development timelines, which consultants you and need when, financing and how community members can best support the development process. Build on the lessons learned from Katie’s 35 years of developing cohousing communities. 


Half-Day Intensives from 500 Communities Affiliate Shelly Parks, of CoVision Consulting:

Secrets of Successful Cohousing Marketing

Thursday, August 25

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Shelly Parks will help participants understand the difference between marketing and sales, and why it's important. She'll explain how to create a Strategic Marketing Plan and what analytics to track for a marketing analysis. Shelly can share how to create a message and a compelling “brand,” to help groups just forming or those in need of a recruitment boost.

Interest to Commitment: Secrets of Securing your Equity Members 

Thursday, August 25

1:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Shelly Parks will share her wealth of information on the best ways to convert someone to a committed equity member. She'll cover how to engage an interested person, create a successful membership path and manage your interested people using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Shelly knows how to avoid the most common mistakes cohousing communities make in their recruitment process. Topics covered will be applicable for groups just forming and for those needing to get a recruitment boost.

We're Here to Help

We provide development consulting services

to help you create your sustainable neighborhood. Our team pioneered the development of cohousing in North America, and we have helped create dozens of successful communities.

Our Services

Our newest venture involves training passionate cohousing entrepreneurs through the year-long 500 Communities Program. The next cycle will begin in 2024!

500 Communities Program
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(530) 478-1970
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