CoHousing Solutions Newsletter | December 2020
Goodbye 2020!
Like most everyone, we are anxious to part ways with 2020 and embark on a new chapter. 2020 provided every reason for divide; an unstable political climate, a global pandemic, savage wildfires and hurricanes that displaced families and showed us that climate change is happening. But what we saw within our cohousing communities was anything but division.
We saw a coming together, a strengthening, and a rejuvenated gratitude from cohousers to have a sturdy community to rely on. 2020 taught us that community matters more than ever, and who we surround ourselves with can make all the difference in the world. This sentiment seemed to catch on with more than just cohousers, as our client communities continued to increase membership and hit milestones in development while it seemed like the rest of the world was standing still.
While we wave goodby to this trying year, we are reflecting on all the goodness that came out of it. Despite Covid and other setbacks, our clients hit some HUGE milestones:
4 Communities bought their land,
5 Communities completed schematic design and received planning approvals,
3 Communities started construction,
2 Communities sold out and moved in.
Here are a few of our favorite 2020 moments . . .
Kick Off Workshops
The year started with a flurry of Kick-Off Workshops as several of our clients got land under contract in Bozeman, Arlington (North of Seattle), Houston, and Fremont. The year seemed to have lots of potential for cohousing when it started, and we are pleased to report all of these communities continue to move forward and gain new members.
And we got to host our first virtual workshops!
Sold Out & Moved In!
Two of our clients completed construction, sold out, and moved in during Covid: Fair Oaks EcoHousing in Fair Oaks CA, and Village Hearth in Durham, NC. There were lots of last minute hurdles to overcome with government shut downs making it difficult to get end-of-construction inspections. Fair Oaks inspections were delayed first by covid, then by protests around government offices, and yet again by unhealthy smoke from wild fires. Who knew so many things could hit you at the end of construction?! 
For us, there is nothing as satisfying as seeing the hardworking founders of these communities finally able to move in. Marty Maskall at Fair Oaks, first started dreaming of living in cohousing 15 years ago, and here she is on her front porch, finally! A big WELCOME HOME to Marty and Pat and Margaret of Village Hearth, the diehards that they are!
Construction Underway!
Haystack Heights in Spokane, Washington broke ground in May, and is now 100% sold out and sailing towards move-in next year. Their unique community is located in the very walkable South Perry district of Spokane, with construction oversight provided by their development partner, UD+P.
Skagit Cohousing in Anacortes, Washington, broke ground on their 4+ acre property in November. Shelly Parks, one of the original members and a graduate of our 500 Communities Program said that she had seen a recent uptick in people's interest in authentic community:
"We found that these crazy times highlighted for people the need for connection. Knowing this, we focused on staying better connected to people. We continued our online information meetings and made an effort to better our pre and post event communication. We also increased our efforts to connect with people over the phone and on Zoom. Our goal was to learn more about their interest in cohousing and explore whether Skagit Cohousing might be a good fit for what they envisioned for their better future."

We are pleased to be working with Schemata Workshop and Fairbank Construction on this community. Fairbank built the Quimper Village community a few years ago.

Heartwood Commons in Tulsa, Oklahoma started the construction process just this month! While their site is still mostly flagged markers and a few excavation points, they could not be more excited to have started the process. They too have been seeing a growth in interest from people who have been affected by the pandemic's isolation:
"The other day, an interested person called us. With Covid, she realized how isolated she has become and wanted to know more about cohousing. During our conversation, she commented, 'I read all the bios on your website and you seem like such a nice group of people.'"
Heartwood Commons has proved that Oklahoma is still the easiest state to build in; this group was able to secure financing with a local bank without a development partner. Katie likes to say “you make it look so easy” although we know that the hard working community members don’t feel that way.
Rooted closed on 240 acres of farmland
The future residents of Rooted Northwest (not the cannabis dispensary in Oregon) are the official owners of 240 acres of lush farmland just outside of Arlington, Washington. The property had been farmed for 100 years by a local family, and Rooted is proud to be carrying on the excellent stewardship of the land, although, working thorough negotiations with a cranky old dairy farmer nearly killed the deal. This community will focus on sustainable agriculture, education, and regenerative processes. As the year comes to a close, they’re wrapping up their site design process with Caddis Collaborative and moving toward a Preliminary Plat submittal with the County.
The Design Process Perseveres
Mosaic Village of Calgary submitted their design for Development Permit in July, and expect to have an approval in January. The Alberta economy has become particularly challenging this year with the downturn in oil, so they are working with their developer RNDSQR to explore some creative financing options.
CoHousing Houston was the first community to tackle all of their design workshops with Caddis Collaborative on zoom, after doing their in person Kick Off Workshop in person at the end of February. Working with 500 Communities Affiliate David Kelly as their developer, they are figuring out how to build community over Zoom! They have an urban site in diverse East Houston, close to bike trails and not too far from the heart of the city. They are shooting for a breaking ground next year!

"Great proposal, great project. . . I'm excited about this development and the quality of the project." -Russ Liebig, Chair of the planning commission
We Settle Into a New Office
The CoHousing Solutions team has been settling into their new digs in a beautiful 3 story victorian in downtown Nevada City. While our new office is just a block away from our last, we are enjoying the change of scenery and the extra space that our new location provides.
We Moved Outdoors!
Those of us lucky enough to be already living in cohousing adapted our community ways to do almost everything outside!
Would you love to use your marketing and social media skills for the benefit of cohousing communities?
If you have graphic design, marketing, and administrative skills, are excited about working in the cohousing movement, and are looking to develop an exciting career related to marketing and/or sustainable development, then this is the job for you!

In this job you'll have the opportunity to work side-by-side with Katie McCamant, cofounder of the US cohousing movement. You will get to directly help new cohousing communities come to life, and learn the ins and outs of sustainable community development. If you, or someone you know might be interested, follow the link below to learn more about this unique opportunity!
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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