Joani Blank, a cohousing pioneer who passed last August, has continued her impact and influence through a legacy gift provided to Coho/US. We are pleased and humbled to receive this gift from the Joani Blank Trust. And inspired to do more to grow cohousing and nurture our communities!
I recently had the opportunity to speak before a City/County Planning Commission in support of Village Hearth Cohousing in Durham, North Carolina. Many of you will remember - or are gearing up for - addressing issues of parking, road access, home clustering and more, to obtain approval for building.
If helpful, I am sharing my remarks (attached) as Executive Director of the Cohousing Association of the U.S. My aim was to:
Philip Dowds, Coho/US Board Treasurer + Angela Sanguinetti, CRN Director
Cohousing Friends —
Coho Cost of Living Data Solicitation. Similar to efforts made in 2010-12, the Cohousing Research Network (CRN) and CohoUS are collaborating on a “cost of living in cohousing” research project. Our intent is to collect new and more detailed information on community budget and finance, and make a report at the May 2017 National Cohousing Conference in Nashville.
Peter Lazar, Coho/US President, Shadowlake Village (Blacksburg VA)
This Thanksgiving break, I’ve been especially grateful for my cohousing bubble. When I drive home in the dark at 6pm after a long business trip, I look up the hill and appreciate seeing the lights on in the common house. My worries and concerns of the external world stay outside the door as I join the impending common meal.
Like catching a cold, I think I’ve caught a bad case of negative worldview from the news and media that I have consumed. It’s gotten so bad that I’m sometimes up at night. I think the cure might be a delicious hot bowl of my neighbor Stephanie’s soup and some good conversation.
Editor’s Note: Learn more from a webinar on reserve studies we are planning with National Condo Advisors for January 2017; and at the 2017 National Cohousing Conference, where Darlene, and cohousers Sharon Villines and Lyons Witten will be presenting about reserve studies. Also at the conference, National Condo Advisors will be exhibiting as part of their Sustaining Sponsorship of the Conference.
Editor's Note: Annie Lehman has joined the Coho/US Board of Directors. Welcome to Annie!
Having never lived in an intentional community (college doesn't count), I don't know what it will feel like when I move next April to PDX Commons, a senior (I prefer to say boomer) cohousing project currently forming in SE Portland. I do know I will be surrounded by people who want to live in community and who think intelligently about the world around them. I've spent the last two years getting to know these folks (and others have worked for years before I entered the picture) to build this community and the building.
What do I love about this?
Back in 1974, when a group of four of us started Sandhill Farm, I started down a path that ultimately added up to my dedicating my life to building community. While that commitment has never wavered (the need for community today as more urgent than ever), I've frequently adjusted the lens through which I see what I'm doing.
One of the most potent and enduring ways to frame my life's work is that I am promoting cooperative culture—as an alternative to the competitive culture that dominates mainstream society. But what does that mean, cooperative culture?
Andrea Mason, Placitas Sage (Placitas, New Mexico)
Placitas Sage Cohousing, located just north of Albuquerque, in Placitas New Mexico, is so excited to welcome our "FarAway" members for an In-Gathering over the Thanksgiving holidays. Since we are still in the process of getting our land re-zoned and have not yet been able to start building our homes, we are focused on building our community. To that end, most of our members who live outside of New Mexico (who we lovingly call our "FarAways"), will be arriving between Nov 18 and 20 to stay with local members until December 1.
In 2008, friend and author Bill Thomas asked me to critique the manuscript of his first novel, The Tribes of Eden. "Tribes" is the story of a near future collapse of the American government and all of the country's institutions. What's left is chaos and unmitigated fear. A young mother happens upon a "shire" (think: cohousing community), where she and her family take refuge and flourish amidst the trust and the cooperation.
I'm traveling to Durham NC where I'll be working with a cohousing community (my 61st if you're keeping score at home). I'll be using one of my favorite approaches: a four-day intensive immersion. After arriving Wed evening I'll get a good night's sleep and then begin work in earnest in the morning.
My time with the client group will divide into two distinct parts:
Segment I: Interviews
From Thursday morning through Friday afternoon I'll make myself available to meet with group members in ones, twos, and in teams. I'll ask questions, but mostly I'll listen.