CoHousing Solutions Newsletter | February 2019
Coming of Age in Cohousing
By Courtney E. Martin  | Feb 13, 2019
"At the last minute, Kathryn McCamant had to take her 4-year-old daughter Jessie along with her to a meeting. The story of her life, it seemed. McCamant was one of the architects hell-bent on spreading the word about cohousing to America. A Danish invention in which families live in separate homes but share communal space and meals, it wasn’t an easy sell. There were so. Many. Meetings.
At this particular one, Jessie sat at her mom’s feet under the table and drew in her sketchbook as the adults babbled on and on about “the hard knocks of real estate development,” as McCamant put it. As the end of the meeting drew near, she looked down and burst out laughing. “She had written WOW on my shoes,” McCamant remembers. “It took me a while to realize it was ‘MOM’ from her perspective. Great juxtaposition! While they were my dress leather shoes, luckily, they were purchased second-hand. Our kids teach us so much!
[Jessie ] Durrett is part of the first generation—potentially 1,000 strong—to spend its formative childhood years in cohousing communities. Twenty-five years into this grand experiment, what are the benefits to the kids who grew up in and among them? An informal survey and a handful of in-depth interviews reveal that coming of age in a cohousing community has wide-ranging and long-term impacts...."
Courtney E. Martin lives in Temescal Commons in Oakland and will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 National Cohousing Conference in Portland, Oregon.
How Cohousing Adds to the Collective Good
An essay written by Jessie McCamant Durrett in 2017.
Jessie moved into Doyle Street Cohousing as a one year old, and then later to Nevada City Cohousing as a teenager. Today, she is finishing her Graduate Degree at Princeton’s School of Public & International Affairs, getting ready to apply what she learned growing up in cohousing to the larger world.
"I largely attribute my intellectual curiosity and prioritization of the collective good to my upbringing in cohousing (an intentional, intergenerational neighborhood of clustered private homes where people share meals and amenities).
From an early age, I was participating in lively discussions about the Iraq War and cooking dinner for forty of my neighbors. Joining finance and landscaping committee meetings showed me the challenges and opportunities of building consensus and participatory decision-making. As a twelve-year-old, I advocated for community meal times that accommodated my athletic practice schedule and the needs of families with toddlers. My neighbors encouraged me to explore my interests, taught me about their careers, and invited me to their churches. Cohousing provided an exceptional venue for me to nurture my aspirations to effect positive change locally and globally."

Local News Features
Recently, two client communities were featured in their local news outlets with great video interviews and tours of their sites. A few years after move-in, Germantown Commons and Oakcreek Community show that living in a collaborative neighborhood increases their quality of life!
Germantown Commons in Nashville, Tennessee

"It's definitely a new concept to to Nashvillians and often they'll say is it a commune? No it's nothing like a commune." explained resident and co-founder, Diana Sullivan. Sullivan told us that cohousing helps prevent social isolation. "What they've discovered is, you're better off to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day than you are to be lonely or isolated."
Oakcreek Community in Stillwater, Oklahoma
Pat Darlington couldn't have imagined a happier life. She's part of an active community with people who care about her and will be there when she needs them. When asked about her quality of life right now Darlington responded, "Oh about an 11 on a scale of 10."
Forming Communities:
Katie McCamant will be leading two Kick Off Workshops in March. During these 2-day workshops, Katie will guide the forming groups through the development process regarding their specific properties that could become cohousing . She'll cover topics including: costs, financing timelines, decision-making, risks, benefits, and more. If either of these communities are of interest to you, you'll want to attend the workshop.
Kick Off Workshop for:
Washington Commons in West Sacramento, CA
March 2-3, 2019
A few spots left!
Kick Off Workshop for:
Cohousing in Calgary, Alberta
March 15-17, 2019
Early Bird Deadline to Register is March 1st
Client Updates
Communities Under Construction
Only a few homes left in these two communities.
Last call for reserving a home!
in Fair Oaks, CA
Focusing on: Sustainable, intergenerational living
Move in expected: later 2019
in Durham , NC
Senior community
Focusing on: LGBT + Allies in a supportive environment
Move in expected: early 2020
Community for the Health of It
National Cohousing Conference
Portland, OR

May 30 - June 2, 2019

You'll want to start planning your trip now, as rooms are booking up fast. Be sure to check out Katie's pre-conference intensive on Friday that she'll be leading with Jim Leach called "The Cohousing Development Process: 30 Years in the Trenches."
Upcoming Webchats - Mark your calendars

Wednesday, Mar 6, 5pm PT
Grace Kim, Common House Acoustics

Wednesday, Mar 13, 5pm PT
Karen Gimnig, Facilitation: Contracting

Wednesday, Mar 20, 5pm PT
Crystal Farmer, Housing Segregation and Its Impact on Cohousing

Tuesday, April 2, 5pm PT
Liz Magill, Conflict: Interpersonal Or Systemic?

Friday, April 12, 3pm PT (note the earlier time)
Michael LaFond, Cluster-Apartments and Shared Flats in Cohousing
Upcoming Events
C Street Village: Novato Design Review Commission

Wednesday, March 6 at 7pm

Chuck Durrett will be presenting a new cohousing community in Marin County ("C Street Village") to the Novato Design Review Commission on March 6th at 7:00 PM at the Novato City Hall. Please come support the new project if you live in the neighborhood. More info on their website.
Community Enhanced Architectural Design:
L  ecture by Chuck Durrett for the Sierra College Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Tuesday, March 12, 5-7pm

Nevada County Campus: Grass Valley, CA

How does architectural design affect the viability of a community? Find out at this presentation, hosted by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). More details here, under the Arts and Humanities tab.
National Cohousing Open House Day

Saturday, April 27

Cohousing communities across the country are welcoming the public for tours and visits. Individuals, families and groups are encouraged to attend this free event. Whether you live in cohousing, are part of a forming group, or are simply curious, be sure to mark your calendar and start planning your day soon.

The importance for established communities to participate in Open House Day:
"We don’t have any homes for sale in our community, but my community is committed to participating in the Open House to 1) encourage locals to give consideration for when we do have homes for sale again, and 2) to show the world that it is indeed possible for neighbors to work collaboratively and (shocking!) FUN! "
- Katie McCamant

Check out more events on our Facebook page
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 newest venture involves training passionate cohousing entrepreneurs through the year-long 500 Communities Program .
Photo by Ed Asmus
Architecture by McCamant & Durrett Architects
CoHousing Solutions
(530) 478-1970
Know someone who would like this newsletter?