A friend of mine, Tree Bressen, recently pointed me in the direction of an article in Fast Company entitled: "How Krash And Other Startups Are Taking Coworking Home: It's called co-living, and it's all the rage." Leaving aside my reaction to the name "co-living" (did the originators think they'd invented the concept of shared housing?), the article explores a new urban phenomenon that's a variant on co-working—where people rent office space with many others, which makes the facilities more affordable for all (users are buying access to expensive office equipment and meeting space rather than owning it, plus they get the bonus of being in an active business environment, and they needn't pay for what they don't need or use. Co-living, as featured in the Fast Company article, takes that a step further, emphasizing the connections and creative sparks possible when you rub two or more entrepreneurs together.
Philip Dowds, Cornerstone Village Cohousing (Cambridge)
In response to this query on coho-l:
I am an owner at Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community in Nanaimo. One thing I am curious about, is the number of people who say they want to rent for awhile before deciding to buy a unit. They want to "try it out" and "see if it is a fit". As people can't commonly do this with houses and condos, or cohousing communities that don't have rentals, why do you think people assume they could or should try out cohousing before buying?
[Editor's Note: Sky Blue encourages members from cohousing communities to attend the Twin Oaks Communities Conference. Here Sky discusses terminology: why does it matter? and highlights the relationship of FIC and Coho/US as a success story in inter-organizational cooperation]
Cohousing was one of my first introductions to collective living and the world of Intentional Communities. My father helped found Valley Oaks Village, in Chico, CA, in the mid-90’s. He and I moved into his unit in 1996, when I was 16, and I lived there for a year before I moved out on my own....My path then took me to a student housing cooperative and then to Twin Oaks, and I’m grateful for the perspective each of these communities gave me....Is Cohousing a form of intentional community? The term Intentional Community was in use before Cohousing, and describes a broader range of models than most people realize. But Cohousing describes a particular, innovative model developed fairly recently. By contrast, the term Housing Co-operative has been in use in the US since at least the early 1900’s, pre-dating the term Intentional Community....
Interested in partnering with Coho/US to produce a regional conference?
Coho/US is seeking the support of cohousing communities, related organizations, and professionals in producing Regional Cohousing Conferences that encourage and nurture the growth of cohousing, cohousing-like communities, and existing communities. Examples include:
** September 2014 Regional Conference in Boulder
** May 2016 Aging Better Together Conference in Salt Lake City
Angela Sanguinetti, new Coho/US Board member and liaison with CRN
Greetings from Cohousing Research Network (CRN)! We are excited to share with you our National Conference presentation of the results from the 2012 National Survey of Cohousing Residents. http://www.cohousing.org/2015/docs/research
.....CRN is sensitive to the fact that cohousing communities are often approached by researchers, so one of our goals is to collaborate, combining our efforts and sharing data, thus reducing the burden on communities while still generating research that can support the growth of cohousing. This survey is a testament to that commitment.
I didn’t expect to hear so much birdsong in the morning. I didn’t expect to be able to see so much sky, sometimes the sunrise and sunset on the same day. I didn’t expect to love my apartment so much, or to feel the disappointments I feel. I didn’t expect that my marriage would break up before I moved into cohousing, and that I would be living alone for the very first time ever. I didn’t expect to feel this comfortable with a large group of people. And I definitely didn’t expect to break my arm a month after I moved in.
When the Cohousing Association of the United States held their annual conference in Durham, North Carolina, last month, most folks in my neighborhood—just four blocks away—weren’t entirely clear what cohousing was.
But after a few insiders visited our Durham neighborhood, we not only learned what it was but also that we’ve been doing it for the last three years. We also learned a new phrase: “neurodiverse community.”
That’s us in North Street Neighborhood: #neurodiverse.
One of the future needs for all cohousing communities is to continue generating support for CoHoUS for developing and training the next generation of cohousing leaders. Just moving in to your new home is not the completion of the community, it is merely the beginning.
We are all mere mortals. Every conference I attend gives me additional insights into what cohousing is all about, how it may be better managed, better designed, and become more sustainable.
One of the convictions I brought away from Durham is that there are three levels of sustainability that are critical to our communities:
At the national cohousing conference, many of you may remember Aaron Darland, who seemed everywhere at once, helping presenters with A/V set up. Aaron was at the conference with his wife Jas and two (adorable) children. As Aaron and Jas consider the next step in their intentional community explorations, they have started a podcast - which is shared below, along with an intro from Jas. This is fun listening! http://villagepodcast.podomatic.com/