Become a blogger!

Want to appear here? We'd love to have you blog about your journey to create your community, or about your adventures living in it! This is a great way to get broad exposure for your community or forming group, and to join in the national conversation. Interested? Contact us.

Blogs

We are not Orange County Housing

We've gotten several calls and web inquiries today from people trying to apply for Section 8 Housing Assistance in Orange County, California. The website you want is at: http://www.OChousing.org/ ! This is the wrong website for that -- we are not connected to it at all. Good luck with your application, and come back and please do come back and visit www.cohousing.org another time if that's what you're doing today.

Our new website

Our new website is coming along nicely, and we're going to be ready soon for people to take a look! We could use your help if:

  • You're interested in helping me bring content from the existing cohousing.org site over to the new site - I'm trying to pick the best! You don't need to be a super geek, but comfort with basic html would be helpful.
  • You use a less-common browser, and/or accessibility tools to read the web, and you're willing to poke around and tell me what does NOT work for you.

Even if neither of those is true, but you're excited and want to poke around, you can email me at catya [at] cohousing [dot] org, and sometime in the next couple weeks I'll get back with you.

Thanks!

Talking about wifi

I asked Daniel if we could post this here because it's about a great deal more than wifi. -cat

The best advice I can give around wifi is to be careful about how you talk to one another about it - treat those with differing experiences or thoughts respectfully while having the discussion.

Our community is in the process of healing rifts from a decision around "Smart Meters" that came not at all from the topic, but from the way in which folks were with one another.

If your community is like ours you may have:

- Folks who "know" that wifi is extremely dangerous, and exposure should be limited.
- Folks who "know" that wifi is totally harmless

- Folks who "know" that the evidence to look at is peer reviewed science
- Folks who "know" that the evidence to use is the stories they hear from friends and their own experience

Help us plan next Cohousing Conference!

Please help us plan the next National Cohousing Conference and Regional Cohousing events! This survey should only take about 5-10 minutes and will help us deliver what the cohousing community wants most.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y2BBKFV

You may have learned through our recent posting that there will not be a national cohousing conference in 2014. This will be the second year in a row in which the board members of CohoUS have felt that it is necessary to postpone what had been an annual event. We believe it is better to wait until we are better able to deliver the type of quality national conference that you have come to expect from us. Rest assured that we do not take this decision lightly and that we are working hard to figure out when and where the next national conference will take place. Please help us in our efforts to better serve your needs by filling out this survey.

Thank you,
CohoUS Board of Directors
Bill Hartzell, President, Mid-Atlantic Region

Cohousing Conference

December 2013

Dear Friends of Cohousing and Community Members,

After much thought and planning we have decided to postpone our next national cohousing conference beyond 2014. This will be the second year in a row in which the board members of Coho/US have felt it necessary to delay our conference. We have decided to wait until we have the adequate resources to ensure the delivery of a high quality conference. Rest assured that we do not take this decision lightly and that we are working hard to determine when and where the next national conference will take place. We are also working on regional outreach and events - such as the regional summit and community open houses in the northeast this past September.

It would be most helpful to have your input to support our planning. To that end we will be sending you a survey in January. Your response is appreciated, as this will help the board better serve your needs and the needs of our larger community.

Appreciations

As I sit writing this, Christmas is right around the corner and 2014 is not too far beyond. Like most people I'm amazed how fast this year went by. As I think back over the past 12 months, I realize that a significant amount of my year has been colored by CohoUS. Honestly, it's been a challenging year. Money has been very tight, and we have had to make some difficult decisions to make sure we remained solvent. We have seen changes in staffing, as well as the departure of board members and the arrival of new ones. And through all these ups and downs, we continue to move ahead. We're making progress on the new CohoUS website and our contact database. Both we hope to share with you early in 2014. We are also working on the planning for CohoUS sponsored events during 2014 that will help us build content and momentum for the 2015 national cohousing conference.

Cohousing Stories

How do you respond to the question, "What is cohousing?" I suspect you have an elevator speech similar to mine which touches on the six defining characteristics of cohousing dusted with a few specifics of the community you live in. Maybe you share a bit of the history of the concept, and talk about the distribution of cohousing communities around the country. If the individual you are talking with has not come to the conclusion after your initial response that you live in a commune, hopefully the conversation will continue. Assuming we're still talking, the interaction gets uncomfortable for me at this point. This conversation I'm having is sort of like a first date. I want to make a good impression and properly represent community life, but I'm not sure if should go all the way with someone I just met.

Lyons Valley Village Needs Our Help

The Denver Post reported on November 3rd that the September floods in Colorado "took nine lives, damaged 26,000 homes, destroyed more than 1,800 homes, damaged 765 businesses, destroyed 203 businesses, damaged or destroyed almost 500 miles of road" as well as causing significant damage to other infrastructure and croplands.

Six weeks after the floods, the small town of Lyons Colorado was still without utilities, with 20% of its homes damaged, most businesses shuttered and all the roads in closed to the general public.

Partnerships for Affordable Cohousing

In 2010, a Task Force of the Cohousing Association of the US identified a need for more affordable cohousing. In response, a group of professionals from around the country came together to work on the problem. With backgrounds in law, economics, finance, business, community development, design, architecture, and planning, we had the internal resources and experience to tackle tough issues.

We formed a non-profit organization, Partnerships for Affordable Cohousing (PFAC), so that we could effectively and cooperatively use these skills to deliver specific services to clients. Today we work with existing, new, and expanding cohousing communities by incorporating both public and private finance, as well as securing the participation of agencies and other non-profits to make cohousing communities BUILDABLE, SUSTAINABLE, AND AFFORDABLE.

Donate now: Select "PFAC" as the Type of Donation

NE Summit and Open House Tours a Success!

Wow - we did it! Cohousing enthusiasts came together on Sept 28th in Cambridge MA to network and learn from each other and our outstanding presenters. Existing communities learned more about work systems, maintenance of facilities, getting along and aging well together. New folks and forming groups learned about development, group formation and dynamics, and the design process. We also ate well and enjoyed strolls between our two hosting communities - thank you Cambridge Cohousing and Cornerstone Village!

On Sunday open house tours were held in 11 New England cohousing communities! The fall foliage made for a great Sunday drive between hosting communities - and many completed their tour with a potluck at Nubanusit Neighborhood or fire-roasted pizza at Katywil Farm Community.

With so many good reports on both days our planning committee thinks it might be a good idea to try to do this every other year! Until then - see you at the National conference in 2014!

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