November 1, 2018
Next Introduction to Fair Oaks EcoHousing: Saturday November 10
Does Cohousing Make Better Citizens?
Diverse people joining cooking class
Apparently so! As November 6th--Voting Day, 2018--approaches, a new study suggests that living in cohousing helps people become more engaged citizens, who participate more fully in the democratic process. The study surveyed 528 individuals in 116 cohousing communities, and found that after moving into cohousing, residents wrote more letters to members of congress, made more campaign contributions, and participated more often in door to door campaigning.

That's not all. The study also found a correlation between how regularly residents participated in their cohousing community's activities--meetings, meals, work days, celebrations, and others--and how regularly those same residents participated in the political and electoral process. It turns out that the more people participate in the life of their cohousing community, the more they also participate in the political life of their larger community.

Why do you think this might be? Why would living in cohousing make people more engaged citizens?

To learn more about the research carried out by Heidi M Berggren, click here: Cohousing as the Training Ground for Civic Society To see how long-time cohouser Karen Gimnig answers the question above, check out the next article.
Cohousing: Making the World a Better Place

In the study referred to above, Heidi Berggren concludes that members of cohousing communities develop confidence, capacities, and skills that facilitate their participation in political life. Karen Gimnig, a professional facilitator who has also served as Vice-President of the National Cohousing Association, would agree. For Karen's full article, click here: Ripples Spread

"It turns out that living in cohousing makes us more collaborative and better leaders. In community, neighbors invite neighbors to join them in the work they do for others, and neighbors do join them. Common resources are used for gatherings and events for charitable groups. Living close makes it easier to help each other take on projects no one person could manage alone.
More than that, cohousing gives us practice in the very skills most lacking in our broader culture. We learn to listen better, to collaborate more, to share. We lead meetings where we work together to form consensus . . . "

As Gimnig points out, these same skills-listening, sharing, collaborating, forging consensus--can be applied to participation in the wider community, "at city council meetings and volunteer groups and religious organizations. Our children take these same skills into their schools.

The ripples travel further than we know. A kindness here, a generous word there, the ability to pull two ideas together into something powerful. Each shifts the energy in a room and creates more peace and gentleness in the world. It spreads.
"Cohousing makes the world a better place
one look
one laugh
one community
at a time."
Karen Gimnig
Ready to learn more? Join us for Coffee & Conversation

Ever wondered what cohousing is all about, or if it might be a good fit for you? If so, you are warmly invited to join us at 7 pm on Tuesday, November 13 for an informal evening of coffee and conversation about cohousing. Held at the home of future Fair Oaks EcoHousing resident Bob Oyafuso, 126 Royalton Circle, Folsom, CA. Please rsvp to Bob at 916-353-0376 or email
The Common House: The Heart of the Community
common house
The Common House is sometimes referred to as "the heart of the community," the hub where so many gatherings take place- for shared meals, meetings, workdays, celebrations, etc. It is also an extension of each member's home, with guest rooms, a cozy lounge for watching a movie or playing cards with a few friends, a small lending library, and more.
  • Things to Do in the Common House

At a recent meeting, future residents of Fair Oaks Ecohousing participated in a brainstorming session about fun things to do in the Common House. Here are the results:

  • Yoga and Tai Chi Classes
  • Celebrations: Birthdays, Holidays, a Solstice Celebration
  • The Super Bowl
  • International Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
  • Grandkid Day
  • Movie Night
  • Music: Piano and Guitar Playing, Singing
  • Harvest Dinner
  • Forums and Guest Lectures
  • Speakers from SMUD on Installing Solar
  • Book Club Meetings
  • Cooking Demonstrations: Ravioli and Gnocchi Making
  • Dancing
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Ping Pong
  • Political Discussions/World Issues
  • Billiards
  • A Chinese Auction
  • Drama/Acting Classes
  • Game Night: Bunco, Trivia, Scrabble
From the National Cohousing Association : FREE WEBCHATS
on Communication, Connection, and Community

The following free webchats are being sponsored by the National Cohousing Association of the United States. Each session will be 60 minutes, starting with a short talk by the presenter followed by ample time for questions from those who attend. There will be additional webchats in November. For more information and the complete schedule, visit Note: the blue links under each title will ask you to download and install the zoom software on your computer.

Wed, Nov 14, 4:30pm Pac, 5:30pm Mt, 6:30pm Cent, 7:30pm East
Ted Rau, Keeping Meetings Short(er)

T ue, Dec 4, 6pm Pac, 7pm Mt, 8pm Cent, 9pm East
Alan O Hashi, Facilitation Techniques: aggressive behavior intervention
Put it on your calendars: National Cohousing Conference
"Community for theHealth of It" May 30 – June 2, 2019 Po
May 30-June 2 2019 in Portland, Oregon
For more info, click here: 2019 Cohousing Conference
Community News
Find Out About Our Community

Fair Oaks EcoHousing members make regular plans to get together, have fun, and get to know each other. And you’re welcome to join us—come to a site tour,  meet our members, and  join us at future events. Read below and check out the  News and Events page on our website for more information. 

Construction Update
by John Szostek

This week the trusses are going up on a couple of buildings. When I was a child, trusses were the girdles for men as advertised in Popular Science . Later I learned about another kind of truss. The full three dimensional reality of the trussing is an ancient skill of working with timber and shaping it precisely into boards, which then get constructed into trusses. The triangular structure of the web in the truss adds tremendous strength. According to, “Trusses were probably first used in primitive lake dwellings during the early  Bronze Age , about 2500 BC. The first trusses were built of timber. The Greeks used trusses extensively in roofing, and trusses were used for various construction purposes in the European Middle Ages.”

Ours are magnificent and strong. Now we can experience the vertical height of the buildings, and begin to imagine the site in its completed state. Splendid.
Where We are Going . . . View from the Entrance
Be Part of Our Community:
Just A Few Homes Left!
As construction progresses on our project, Fair Oaks EcoHousing has only a few homes left. Call now to learn about cohousing, observe the site and reserve one of the available units--a 2+ bedroom townhome, a rare 3 bedroom with one bedroom down; or a spacious 2-story 4 bedroom townhome.

Key features for all include:
Large windows, allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the home and make rooms feel light and spacious
• Open design for living and dining areas, providing more space and flexibility in use
• Modern kitchen with ample storage and counter space
• Porch or deck for visiting with neighbors

The 2-story 2+ bedroom townhome includes:
• Bathroom upstairs and downstairs
• "Plus" room, ideal for a home office, craft room, or play room

The 3 bedroom townhome includes:
  • Spacious downstairs bedroom with a full bath
  • Two good-sized bedrooms and one full bath upstairs
  • Generous front porch

The 4 bedroom townhome includes:
• Spacious upstairs master bedroom with a full master bath and walk-through closet
First-floor bedroom, perfect for a home office, an aging family member, or single-floor downstairs living
Large wrap-around porch that provides roomy outdoor living space

Like all homes in Fair Oaks EcoHousing, these homes are designed for energy efficient living, with eco-friendly construction and high-quality fixtures and finishes.

Fair Oaks EcoHousing is a pedestrian-friendly village for residents of all ages, with a centrally-located clubhouse, pool and spa, and garden. 

The location is close to Fair Oaks Village and the American River Parkway, with many nearby dining and entertainment options, plus easy access to the freeway.

If you are interested in learning about the community, please see below for information on the site tour.
Future residents with shovels
Introduction to Fair Oaks EcoHousing
Saturday November 10 at 10:30 am

Fair Oaks EcoHousing will be a neighborhood of 30 homes on 3.7 acres in Fair Oaks, CA, 18 miles east of downtown Sacramento. Come see the site and our architectural plans, and meet members at an upcoming cohousing informational meeting. Kids are welcome.

Act now! Fair Oaks EcoHousing has only a few homes left. If you are interested, please come to the informational meeting and site tour. Other h omes do become available on occasion. If you like what you hear at the meeting, please join our interest list to be notified of new availability.

To attend the Introduction to Fair Oaks Ecohousing, meet at 10:00 am at the Fair Oaks Coffeehouse in Fair Oaks Village, at 10223 Fair Oaks Blvd , at the intersection with Park Drive. Look for us on the side of the Coffeehouse, in the patio area or in the building at the back. We will introduce you to the project and then we can carpool to the site, where we will be able to overlook the construction of our new community.

The event will last about an hour and a half, with an optional lunch afterwards at the Siam Patio Restaurant or the Smokey Oaks Tavern. If you can't make it Saturday, the next tour is Saturday, November 17 at 10 am. Please RSVP below. Thanks!
Want to Learn More About Fair Oaks & Sacramento?