CoHousing Solutions Newsletter | December 2019
The Year in Review. . .
Can you believe that in just a few short weeks we will be entering a new decade? Naturally, this has us reflecting.

If you have been reading along us for a while, you know we have had some pretty big moments. You joined our discussions about hard hitting social issues, you saw us travel all over North America (some of you even traveled with us), and you supported us through our apocalyptic October of power outages.

But if you're just now tuning in, don't worry, we are about to bring you up to speed. We wanted to take a minute to recap the most exciting things that happened over the past year.

2019 was a year of growth for us, for our clients, and for our affiliates. And if we're being honest, it was a year worth bragging about . . .
New Clients
We welcomed in several new clients in 2019. All of whom are off to a great start. They are located all over North America including the states of
Maryland, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Montana, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta.
Got Land!
Getting land under contract is a really big deal for cohousing communities. It means that your dream has a place to launch, it means that your vision is that much closer to reality, and it means that you have successfully navigated the incredibly muddy waters that is the land acquisition process. In 2019 we were able to help guide several of our client communities through that process, and grow one step closer to getting their projects off the ground:

Mosaic Village in Calgary, Alberta, navigated through a particularly difficult situation. After a long and strenuous process they finally found a piece of urban land well suited for their project in the older neighborhood of Bowness. They negotiated a contract, only to find environmental concerns that left them with no choice but to withdraw. After a process of collaboration with the property owner and environmental testing, they were able to clear up the environmental concerns and proceed with their contract. Now, at the end of the end of the year, 13 member households of Mosaic Village find themselves deep in the design process.

Middlesex Cohousing finally found a piece of land that fit what they were looking for in Littleton, MA. We recently interviewed one of their founding members, Victoria Thatcher, about their acquisition process, and the Boston housing crisis that drove them to discover cohousing. Since getting their property under contract they have been bringing on new members and have begun their design process.
Washington Commons in West Sacramento, CA, finally secured their land after a roller coaster process. They had located the site ages ago, and had entered a verbal agreement with the property owner that it would be a good fit for their cohousing site. They continued growing their group and making development plans for the site until one day they noticed that there was a 'FOR SALE' sign up on the property. They quickly jumped into action and secured the land legally and for good. Katie assisted in bringing on UD+P as a development partner, and now they have settled on their designs, handed their planning submittal to the City of West Sacramento, and are on their way to breaking ground.
Other client groups that recently negotiated getting land under contract include Berkeley Moshav, Bozeman Cohousing, and Timeless Village in Arlington, WA.
Community Milestones
Haystack Heights in Spokane, WA, has been tackling the uphill battle of a difficult construction cost climate. They have had their site secured and designs in place for some time, but the rising construction costs has continuously set them back. Together with the community and their developer, UD+P, we went back to the drawing board to discuss the changes that would be necessary to hold prices, and how it would effect their original vision. Now that they are finally out of the weeds, they are finalizing their construction and loan contracts, and are set to begin construction next month.

Skagit Cohousing in Anacortes, WA, has been on a speedy track since the early stages. Recently, they experienced some snags in their site design. After months of ping-ponging between the city planner, a neighboring property owner, and site re-designs, they are finally back on track and moving ahead with full steam. In fact, they are over 50% sold out!

Heartwood Commons in Tulsa, OK, has had an incredibly active year. They partnered with local architects Jones Design Studio, PLLC and Caddis PC. Recently, they completed their design workshops, and flew Katie McCamant out to Tulsa to reveal their designs to the public. They are now officially 50% sold out, and on track to break ground in 2020.
Kawartha Commons in Peterborough, Ontario, is one of our newest clients, and is already in discussion with a potential developer who has land. This particular developer is new to the world of cohousing, and is still familiarizing himself with the concept. In a recent email he said:

" I have been doing a lot more research about co-housing and the deeper I dig the more I fall in love with the concept"
River Song (Previously Oakleigh Meadows) in Eugene, OR, has possibly passed more hurdles than any of our client communities. They have been held up time and time again by land use appeals of neighborhood activists, but in 2019 they were finally cleared of the last of the appeals. Recently, they officially partnered with UD+P to get their community built. With a renewed wind beneath their wings they are shooting to start construction in 2020.

Village Hearth in Durham, NC, is under construction and only has a few homes left! This a really big deal for so many reasons, but the most tremendous reason is that this community will be the first of its kind. It will be the first LGBT-focused senior cohousing community, and we are so proud to have been part of this elemental project.
Our 500 Communities program has also had a transformative year with its 3rd class of graduates. For the first time, nearly all of our graduates and affiliates across all three classes gathered together in one room to meet, share, collaborate, and hear from some of the most experienced cohousing professionals.

As our recent graduates begin to get their feet wet in the world of cohousing, some of our affiliates have taken the full plunge. These 500 Communities Graduates and CoHousing Solutions Affiliates are now working as full time cohousing professionals:

Shelly Parks graduated from the program in 2016, and has since founded CoVision consulting. She focuses on sales and marketing, teaching groups the systems necessary to grow their member base and sell out their community

Darryl Berlin graduated from the program in 2015. He is now the construction project manager for Fair Oaks EcoHousing in Fair Oaks, CA, and the Executive Director of Common Space Community Land Trust in Sebastopool, CA.

John Caye graduated from the program in 2015 and is now a member and the project manager of C Street Village in Novato, CA, with more projects on the rise.

Roger Studley graduated from the project in 2015, and has since founded Urban Moshav, a non-profit development partner for Jewish cohousing communities. His recent project, Berkeley Moshav, now has land and is establishing roots in the Berkeley, CA.
Ending the Year with a Bang
As we near the end of 2019 we are reflecting on our year; all the projects it encompassed, and all the people that made it possible. At the top of our list is the team at the National Cohousing Association of the US. The Association is the glue that holds the world of cohousing in the US together. They are the link between communities and home buyers, between forming groups and professionals, between interested individuals and the resources they need to get more involved. Cohousing in the US would not be what it is today without them, and if we want to see communities continuing to be built then we need to support the Association. That is why we have added something extra onto our annual donation. This giving season please join us in supporting the Cohousing Association of the US:
Happy Holidays,
see you in 2020!
-The CoHousing Solutions Team, Katie McCamant and Riley Grim
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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