Grace Kim has written a great article that profiles how cohousing offers a good alternative to assisted living, or to continuing care facilities.
This was published in Blueprints for Senior Living – an online journal for the Design For Aging committee of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) http://www.aia.org/akr/Resources/Documents/AIAB105853
Grace will be presenting "Cohousing: A Sustainable Model for Living Independently" on Friday, May 15 at the AIA Convention in Atlanta.
In our quest to expand cohousing, Coho/US has long recognized two major challenges: (1) accessing financing and (2) creating more affordable models. This month, Coho/US made headway in addressing both, establishing a formal collaboration with Partnerships for Affordable Cohousing. Pooling our reach, credibility and knowledge will bolster our mutual efforts to develop and promote strategies to broaden access and affordability.
The impetus for collaboration is the development of a loan program, to increase access to financing for construction and expansion of cohousing communities. A loan program also provides the opportunity for individuals, foundations and public funding sources to invest in cohousing and promote our housing model. We have been in conversations since last fall with the National Cooperative Bank, a potential financial partner in this endeavor, and we may consider collaborating with foundations whose goals of sustainable communities mirror ours.
A year ago I had breakfast with a friend in Michigan who had participated in my two-year facilitation training back in 2005-07, and she shared a story about how my program helped her professionally. She applied for a job in a large city that would require her to bring together various stakeholders who were not used to talking with each to make common cause. That meant setting up and running effective meetings, building trust to where people shared openly, and then assisting them to come to a united understanding despite substantive cultural and political differences. After wending her way through the application and interview process she became a finalist for the position.
In addition to a full range of sessions at the National Cohousing Conference, we are offering 1/2 day and full day "intensives" on specialized topics presented by cohousing experts. You can sign up for these separately, or in addition to registration.
Visit www.cohousing.org/2015conference or download the program at www.cohousing.org/2015/program
Consider these awesome offerings from our Cohousing Rockstars:
You’re probably tired of hearing about smaller units, standardization, simple unit plans, modest finishes, all with the goal of achieving more affordability. Well it’s true, these all help, but there are other affordability strategies that are based on interpersonal relationships, community, and trust, that can be just as effective, if not more so. The strategies outlined in the series to follow have been collected over the past 25 years of doing cohousing projects across the US and Canada. Many of the strategies outlined below are what I call “internal banking.” These internal banking relationships are magical when they happen, and it would seem they can only happen when there is a strong sense of community, and trust.
After many years of living abroad, I’ve discovered upon moving back to the US that those early seeds of creative housing solutions planted in Danish soil have taken root in the US and are flourishing across the country. Cohousing is becoming increasingly more attractive to all segments of the population: young families, seniors, single mothers, and just about everything in-between. And the originality of how people are coming together to find new answers to their collective goal of establishing and sustaining community is impressive, and seems to be continuing unabated.
Last month, my Durham Coho hosted a visit by graduate students enrolled in an Urban Cohousing Design Studio at NC State College of Design. Tom Barrie, a Professor of Architecture and Director of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Initiative, was inspired by the National Cohousing Conference, and offered to provide this design studio, and present results at the Conference.
In Tom’s course syllabus, he outlines “this studio will equally research, design and critique this unique form of housing with the goal of critically examining its predominant characteristics and promises, and insightfully and comprehensively designing new expressions and materializations. We will focus on urban cohousing as a type and location that may be best positioned to satisfy the aspirations of this alternative housing.”
Intrigued? Come hear and see more at the conference.
Urban Co-Housing | Affordable, Adaptable and Sustainable http://www.cohousing.org/2015/sessions
I recently gave a tour of FrogSong, my cohousing community, to a group of local university students. During my talk I shared this story about the power of consensus decision-making. Even though this event happened fifteen years ago, I still choke up in the telling.
I'm excited for the conference! When I'm not being the lead techie for the association, I pay a lot of attention to singing, celebrations, and traditions. On Thursday night of the conference I'll be talking about singing in community, and singing with as many of you as will join me.
On Saturday morning, I'll be leading a facilitated discussion / experiential session on creating traditions in your community. There will be some talking, but more hands on creation of something you can bring home.