I arrived home at midnight after a long weekend in Boulder, attending the Regional Cohousing Conference. I should have been exhausted, but I was wired after the energizing gathering. A success by any measure, we had close to 90 folks attend, 2/3’s from outside Colorado, including Minnesota, Mississippi, California, Texas, Missouri – even a few folks from Canada, and one from Australia! The conference program had a spontaneous flavor (Jim Leach described it as “cohousie” in organization), and thus allowed for abundant story sharing and organic issue discussion. Many who attended are part of forming groups, with lots of questions; others had enjoyed many years of cohousing life and were interested in ways to enhance the vibrancy of their community. There were two sessions that particularly influenced me.
Beth Baker, author of “With a Little Help from our Friends,” will be in Salt Lake City, Utah to speak at an “Aging Successfully in Community” event sponsored by SageHill Cohousing Partners. Beth will share innovative ways that people are approaching retirement by creating communities that ensure we will be surrounded by a circle of friends, family and neighbors as we age. Oct 18, 2014 visit http://sagehillcohousing.com/events/
Cohousers will be part of the NYC People’s Climate March on Sept 21st, showcasing this great banner! Laura Fitch is leading about 20 people from Pioneer Valley Cohousing, and will be joined by other cohousers from NYC Coho, NYC Cohousing Group, Katywil Farm Community, New View Cohousing, and Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm, along with others they may collect along the way. Nancy Turkle from Katywil Farm Community worked with Laura to design the banner - nice job! Let’s send good wishes to these folks giving their time to this good cause, and raising awareness that cohousing can be part of the solution!
Question: We are 3 months into starting a co-housing community in western MA. We will soon be discussing how we will make group decisions. I don't think we have to reinvent the wheel on this one. Consensus and sociocracy seem to be common strategies. Which do you recommend?
Sociocracy and consensus are not opposite things. Sociocracy is based on consensus decision-making.
Harvard and AARP say senior housing is the next big American crisis, according to a new report. A good time to pull out the 2012 pro-cohousing report from Governing, the online news magazine of state and local governments, "Senior Cohousing May be the Next Real-Estate Trend." Katie McCamant suggests “This is one I would put in a bank financing package and/or give to appraisers.”
"... Switzerland's Pumpipumpe is trying to bring a little of that back -- forward? -- into the information age. Rather than developing a mobile app that assists sharing of goods between neighbors, they've gone old-school with stickers that people can apply to their mailboxes to let others know what they have to lend.
How often have you experienced a response of, “oh, I’m not ready to live in a commune,” when sharing your cohousing life. Communes, eco-villages and the like are of course excellent models of community and sustainability; however, our culture honors private ownership and control of resources. With this prejudice, our cohousing model, which highlights privacy in the mix of community, and most often involves private home ownership, allows us to “crack the nut” of resistance to intentional community.
When I took on the role of Executive Director of Coho/US in April, I was ready to partner with the board in tackling our ambitious goals set over the winter. With almost 5 months on the job, on this Labor Day, I thought it time to provide a summary “how are we doing?”
An initial priority was stabilizing the organization’s revenue stream, and that translates to encouraging giving by our cohousers. I hope that as you read our goals and progress, you will be inspired to give.
Coho/US goals and progress include: