Washington House Cohousing | October 2017 Newsletter
Upcoming Events
Oct 7 & Oct 22 Site Tour and Neighborhood Walk
Oct 19 Creating a Culture of Cohousing
(Scroll to the end of the newsletter for more info on events)
Autumn is Here!
Cooler weather – and new beginnings! It’s a great time to take a look at our site in West Sacramento for what will become the first cohousing community here. 

We’ve all been busy, taking trips around the country and the world, tracing our genealogy, seeing the eclipse, visiting family and friends, drinking beer and lemonade and eating ice cream. Yes, a hot summer it was. With the cooler weather we will be starting our site tours later in the morning at 10:00 a.m. Read on for cohousing updates and to find out how you too can join in co-creating this sustainable, interconnected community!
Join Now to Participate in the Design Process for our cohousing community
Help us create our Washington House Cohousing Community. We are at 6 member households with 4 explorer households. We are almost ready to start the design process. We’d love to have you on board to be a part of it bringing your talents into this creative, collaborative endeavor. Find out more at one of our upcoming site tours and at our upcoming discussion/workshop on Creating a Culture of Cohousing
Congratulations, PDX Commons!
Construction of PDX Commons in one of Portland’s lively urban neighborhoods is finished and residents are moving in. A couple of our members visited them in August and were very impressed. 

“WOW!” said Stu Wilson. “Very elegant, well designed, a great place to live – they should be very proud.” Another member talked about all of the many unique ideas that have been incorporated into their 4-story cohousing community for 27 individuals and couples. For example, they have a downstairs space that will become a commercial endeavor of some sort. In the meantime, they are putting their excess furniture there to sell -- another way to downsize. She loved the way the homes face inward to a courtyard yet each is very private protected by a decorative wooden lattice treatment. Janet Wilson loved the roof area and its potential for some gardening. The deck off the dining area is pretty nice too (see below).
From a recent PDXC Facebook post: "Tonight we had all 27 households gathered in community to celebrate our coming together as an intentional community. We reviewed the timeline of the project and honored the founders who had the vision. It was a beautiful evening including an elegant meal."
The PDX Community has done a great job and we have much to learn from them. In fact, two of the founding members, Lew Bowers and Susan Fries have already been very helpful to us giving us the benefit of their experiences. We are hopeful that we will have a visit from them sometime in the near future to learn much more.
PDX Commons Members gather together around the fire pit on the common terrace.
For more information, go to www.PDXCommons.org and to get a feel for their community, check out their Facebook page here. Lots of fun posts by the members there!
Recap of the August 10 Focus Group
We learned much from our August 10 Focus Group – we had lively, deep and focused discussions of both the compelling reasons and the challenges facing people as they consider becoming part of this community.
Compelling reasons to be part of Washington House: People talked about the exciting opportunity to plan and create. The opportunity to share resources and amenities; that we may not need as much stuff if we can share – a shared workshop space, some shared meals, maybe even a shared car or two. The idea that we will be moving in together at the same time and creating our own community culture. People liked the idea of a built-in community, multi-generational, and diverse. And they saw the opportunity to live in a walkable community. They liked the idea of community with privacy.
But, there are challenges too. Learning to work together, learning to make decisions by consensus. Wondering how they will adapt to this approach and the degree of group involvement. Some have been very independent and wonder whether they will be good at sharing. How to attract diversity of ages, races, and ethnicities and family situations. How to make it within the financial means for young families and for others with limited means. And there is the time commitment for seeing it through the design process to getting it built – and how that meshes with personal life plans. Fortunately, we are working with CoHousing Solutions, professional cohousing consultants who are providing us with best practices regarding group process and other critical components to make this a successful community!

Three people joined that night as new Explorer Members – Willa and Stu of Davis and Durriya (Dori) of Pleasanton. Welcome Willa, Stu and Dori!

We plan to focus in on the challenges identified in our “Creating a Culture of Cohousing Series” (see events below). At the October 19th evening workshop, we will focus on the issue of group decision-making. We plan to schedule monthly evening discussions on topics related to creating cohousing. Our November discussion is scheduled for November 16 th. We invite your suggestion of topics for future meetings. 

For more information and to RSVP for the October 19 th contact Maggie Borowiak at maggie1000@gmail.com .
Local Cohousing News:
Fair Oaks Eco-Housing is Nearing Construction
Here's the Fair Oaks site before demolition...
And after demolition! Construction is starting soon.
We are also learning much from the experience of our friends in Fair Oaks. We are so pleased that their construction is about to begin and that they have commitments for all but two of their future homes. Congratulations Fair Oaks EcoHousing! For more information, go to www.fairoaksecohousing.org.
We need your help to spread the word!
If you are reading this, you are supportive of cohousing. You may not yet be ready to commit. We urge you to continue to keep informed and pass the word to others to whom this may be the perfect next step. 

Did you know that referrals, word-of-mouth from people you respect, is the most successful communication? So, thank you, for spreading the word!!

We are getting ready to host community information gatherings in homes of people interested in Washington House. This is an opportunity to bring together your friends and learn about and ask questions in an informal setting. Let us know if you would like to schedule such a session.
Upcoming Events
Creating a Culture of Cohousing:
Working Together to Create Good Decisions
A Thursday Evening, Interactive Workshop
October 19, 6-8 p.m.
Working together to make our community a reality will require decisions about the architectural design as well as the many ways we want to live and work together. We will have to become experts at collaboration and effective decision-making. At this interactive workshop, we will focus on how to do this – what is involved in effective collaboration and in consensus based decision-making process. We will look at what has worked in each of our lives – when we experienced good group decision-making, and when we experienced the lack of effective group decision-making. What are the key ingredients? How can we work together most effectively?

Come join us for what promises to be a very interesting evening. RSVP to Maggie Borowiak at maggie1000@gmail.com
Site Tour & Neighborhood Walks
October 7 & October 22 at 10am
Meet at 4th and G Streets, West Sacramento
Join us to see our incredible site and talk about the real possibility of creating the first cohousing community in West Sacramento. Our neighborhood walk will be along the Sacramento River to the Crocker Museum where we will continue the discussion of what’s involved to make this happen. It will be a great time to get your questions answered.

See you at 4th and G!

RSVP to Janet Wilson at janetdwilson@earthlink.net .
Washington House Business Meeting
October 12
Open to Members and Explorers
Email Anne Geraghty for more info.
Creating a Culture of Cohousing: Next Workshop
November 16th, 6-8pm
Our November discussion is scheduled for November 16 th . We invite your suggestion of topics for future meetings. For more information and to RSVP for the October 19 th contact Maggie Borowiak at maggie1000@gmail.com .
Thanks for reading! We hope to hear from you soon.

In community,
Your friends from Washington House Cohousing