My neighbour just pointed us to this interview with a social scientist whose new book "How we live now" includes discussion of cohousing. It starts off with a picture of our community, Mosaic Commons (pic by Tim Pierce, article by Jessica Gross)
Jon Ippolito, Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage (Maine)
While many intuitively understand the benefits of living in a close-knit neighborhood, some people need numbers to convince them. That's why members of Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage on the Maine coast conducted their own study to find out how much money typical residents will save in energy costs and in-kind goods and services.
The result? Over twenty years, a family of four would save between $80,000 and $130,000.
Sarah Lozanova, BelfastCohousing & Ecovillage (Midcoast Maine)
"Everyone knows that Americans consume resources at a rate that is not sustainable," Jeffrey says. "I always thought I was making my contribution by recycling and driving an economical vehicle. At the same time I was living in an enormous house that, in a third world country, could house 10 families. Before we insulated the attic we were using close to a thousand gallons of oil each year. This is not a sustainable number for two families, as we had a rental apartment in the home."
What’s new on the cohousing front in the North Bay area? Already home to FrogSong Cohousing, a thriving community over ten years in the making, a vision for a new network of cohousing projects has emerged. North Bay Cohousing at Cotati has a .85-acre site under contract on Cotati’s downtown edge, and will use this presentation to gauge project interest.
I was recently selected to join a nonprofit board and attended my first meeting via teleconference. Although the bylaws stiplated that decisions would be made by consensus (I'd done my reading), the meeting was full of calls for votes, motions, and seconds. Uh oh. Had I wandered into the wrong meeting? Unfortunately, I hadn't.
In response to recent “aging in place” discussions on cohousing-l, I offered some thoughts on how Washington Village, a cohousing community in the heart of Boulder, Colorado, is well-suited to aging in place.
“The disappearance of these once-central relationships—between people who are familiar but not close, or friendly but not intimate—lies at the root of America’s economic woes and political gridlock.” - The Vanishing Neighbor, Marc Dunkelman
A woman in the sociocracy discussion group at the cohousing conference asked about people who join being able to change policies. The group has a pet policy but the new person wants it changed. My response was that policies are always open for reconsideration. The answer was too short and I’m hoping she or someone one is on the list from that group to share this with her.
Rather than teams focusing on support for aging in place, I think it would be better to have a team focused on (1) what all community members need and (2) extending our notions about the abilities of all individuals to support others. Just because people are aging doesn’t mean they have more needs than anyone else.
In Portland (OR), the cohousing cauldron is beginning to boil with one project about to go to construction and as many as three others in the formative stages.
The SE Examiner neighborhood newspaper recently profiled PDX Commons, a 55+ cohousing new condo project which will rise near the center of Portland in one of the city’s several dynamic neighborhoods. Half of the 27 units are already spoken for. Go PDX.