CoHousing Solutions Newsletter | January 2019
Cohousing in the News
Senior cohousing an ‘antidote to the loneliness’ that hits people as they age
by Kathleen Pender
Leslie Watson-Hollinsead (left) and Christian Zimmerman have dinner at Phoenix Commons.
Community Members in Phoenix Commons. Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle
The following is an excerpt from this article in the San Francisco Chronicle...

Senior cohousing is a newer type designed for people who want to avoid the isolation that can happen when families move away and friends die. “There is a natural loss of community as you age. There is no way to replace it with jobs or schools,” said Christian Zimmerman, whose company developed Phoenix Commons, where he also lives.

JoAnna Allen called it “a great antidote to the loneliness that hits a lot of people.” She was familiar with cohousing, but her husband, Ken, was less gung ho. He came around “once he realized he could still have his privacy and independence,” she said.

...Joan Taylor had been living in a “very nice condo” in Alameda, but “I felt isolated. I lived there two years and never knew anyone,” she said. At Phoenix Commons, “there is accessibility and community.”
Anne Geraghty started organizing a cohousing community five years ago but “it went much slower than I expected,” she said. Her original group disbanded in 2015, but now a second group is purchasing land in Sacramento to build cohousing called Washington Commons , most likely for seniors.
"I love the idea of deciding what my future's about"

- Anne Geraghty of Washington Commons
“Most people want to stay in their home as long as possible, because they want to control their own life. And then they go into a place where their life is controlled by others,” Geraghty said. “I love the idea of deciding what my future’s about and not being run by a corporation.”
Do you (or someone you know) want to be in on the "ground floor" of a new, urban cohousing development? Well, you're in luck!

Washington Commons, mentioned above in The SF Chronicle article, has land under contract and is preparing to start designing the community.
Washington Commons is about to close on an amazing site in West Sacramento that is walking distance to numerous cultural and natural amenities, as well as a few blocks from Downtown Sacramento and all the resources California's state capital has to offer.

Kick Off Workshop with Cohousing Expert Katie McCamant

Washington Commons will be hosting Katie for a Kick Off Workshop March 2nd and 3rd. This is going to be a big launch for the group. If you want to be part of this vibrant and urban community, this is an event you don't want to miss. Register before February 15 for the Early Bird Discount!!

(P.S. Early membership and investment gets you significant savings on the price of your future home.)
Washington Commons members are Picturing It! Can you?

Want to stay updated on Washington Commons?
Washington Commons is inspired by PDX Commons, a 55+ cohousing community in Portland, Oregon
Music and dancing in the courtyard? Sure, why not!
Need a quiet space to chat with a friend or read a book over a cup of coffee? You got it, just head over to the common house.
Get to know the neighbours: Cohousing experiments in democratic living.
by Cheryl Gladu , 500 Communities Trainee

Cheryl has received a degree in International Business from Carleton University and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. Her main field of interest is design to facilitate collective behavior change. She has studied design for sustainable behavior change, via something called “ ecofeedback ,” as well as  art for social change . She is also one of the researchers on the boundary-breaking  Collaboratoire project . Her thesis, a project called “The Architecture of Trust” will focus on to the design of processes contributing to the successful completion of cohousing communities in Canada.
The following article first appeared in CCPA’s The Monitor, January/February 2019 “The Right to the City,” on January 1, 2019


Cohousing communities in North America make use of consensus- or consent-based decision-making. Consensus is not the same as unanimity, and there are a variety of ways to achieve it in group settings. But overall, we can say that consensus is akin to gaining a general agreement between members of a group on matters that concern that group. Consensus is, in other words, a democratic practice.

This democratic approach to decision-making will be familiar to some people who are already trying to create a more just and equitable society , perhaps through small voluntary collectives or within larger professional co-operatives. In the case of cohousing, consensus is also a process used to successfully design, develop and manage award-winning, multi-million-dollar real estate projects.
For consensus-building to work, however, group members have to make a commitment to improving their ability to communicate in an open and honest way, while also adopting a more charitable view of the ideas of others. As you might imagine, these skills are built with time and practice.
And this is why the years-long, deliberate approach to building a neighbourhood in a community-led project is such a good incubator: cohousing allows people to master the art of collectively working th rough challenges. It is, unfortunately, the opposite of what currently goes on in our federal and provincial legislatures.
"Cohousing allows people to master the art of collectively working through challenges."
Members of Hearthstone Cohousing discussing over common dinner
...Experienced, top-down housing developers could also be engaged in the process of building cohousing communities.
Interior View of Hearthstone Cohousing
Architecture by McCamant & Durrett Architects
Katie McCamant’s CoHousing Solutions company has successfully brought cohousing communities into master-planned neighbourhoods such as Hearthstone Cohousing in Denver, which was built into the Highlands Garden Village plan. The benefits to the developer are many and include reduced risk, increased equity, and political support in the project.
Cohousing can also be included in larger master-planned communities, such as this new urbanist village in Denver, CO.
Considering applying for the 500 Communities Program in 2020? Stay in touch!
Make sure you're on the email interest list to receive updates and information about the program.
COHO/US WebChats
National Cohousing Conference in Portland, Oregon: Community for the Health of It

May 30 - June 2, 2019
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for the National Cohousing Conference in Spring of 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."
WebChat Series Continues in 2019
Missed Katie's talk on "Hiring Professionals to Get Your Community Built"?

If you have questions regarding these webchats, please direct them to Karen with Coho/US . Thank you!!
Upcoming Events
Alexandria Levitt
Presentations in Southern California:
Housing Specialist Will Explore Senior Cohousing as "A Progressive and Creative Housing Model"
January 24 7pm at the Pasadena Central Library
January 31 6pm at the United Church of Christ in Claremont

Curious about senior cohousing in L.A.? Join 500 Communities Program Trainee, Alexandria Levitt, for two upcoming presentations. Check out this article that came out in Pasadena Now .

Presentation in Toronto, Ontario with Katie McCamant & Chuck Durrett
"Cohousing 101 with The Pioneers of Cohousing in North America"
January 25, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Getting It Built Workshop in Toronto: Jan 26 & 27
Hosted by CoLiving Canada . This is event is sold out.
Community-Enhanced Architectural Design: Lecture by Chuck Durrett
Tuesday, March 12, 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Sierra College, 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.
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
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