Cohousing Directory - Community View

Songaia Cohousing Community
United States
Songaia Cohousing Community
22401 39th Ave SE
Bothell, Washington 98021 United States
Address Status:
Good as of 10/12/2006
info [at] songaia [dot] com

Songaia is a suburban cohousing community near Seattle. Because of press coverage and our activism in the communities movement, Songaia is known and visited by many.

We steward 10.6 acres of forested hillside, organic gardens, orchards, and meadow. Our 15 clustered homes include two studio apts and member-owned one-to-three-bedroom duplex units around a green common.

Songaia, “Song of the Living Earth,” combines our love of singing and celebration with our connection to the earth.

Our shared community life is active: About 90% of us gather for five-plus shared meals per week; we sing, work together, celebrate, share in circles, learn and vision in study groups, form task forces, and enjoy many celebrations. These many connections grow strong webs of friendship and supportive neighbors. Ours is a safe, supportive environment where children, elders, and families of all types live— with attention and intention.

Songaia continues to grow a shared, local culture - both of Members and Associates (which includes non-residents) share use of our extensive common facilities and land. Our common house includes eating and meeting spaces, two guest rooms, and much more. Our barn has a greenhouse, food pantries, shop, ceramics room, and storage.

Songaia hosts a Rites of Passage program, affecting the lives of many. Some Songaia members provide leadership in the Community Movement, providing service through the FIC, the Cohousing Association (Coho/US), and the NW Intentional Communities Association (NICA).

The Songaia story unfolds as we work with owners of two adjoining, aligned shared households - New Earth Song Cohousing (see separate listing), and Life Song Commons.

Songaia, New Earth Song, and Life Song Commons are forming an umbrella organization to manage and support our common interests and abundant shared resources - and to help us more successfully grow our community neighborhood.

New Earth Song is in the process of developing their half-acre with a single-family house, into four homes. Life Song Commons, 1.3 acres with a large house and small cottage, is a shared household consisting of five Songaia associates.

To learn more, review our website, contact us, then, perhaps, come for a visit!

Former/Other Names:
Songaia Cooperative, Songaia Cohousing, Songaia Community
Community Affiliations:
Network Affiliations:
Fellowship for Intentional Community Northwest Intentional Communities Association Coho/US
Last Updated:
Visitors Accepted
(We welcome visitors, who sometimes join us in creating and enjoying wonderful things...)
Visitor Process:
Songaia is exploring expansion with new rentals and homes for sale. While we have no units available now, we may have rental and purchase space available in the future. We invite people who might be interested in living at Songaia to visit our website and add themselves to the Songaia Announcements mailing list. If you are interested in visiting our community, please send us an email to arrange a host for a visit.
Cohousing Details
Cohousing Status:
Year Completed:
(Some of us have lived on the land since 1987)
10.6 acres (4.3 hectares)
(homes are clustered on about 2.5 areas, leaving lots of open space)
Number of Units:
13 (w/studio apts in two larger units)
43 (34 on Songaia property, 9 on adjoining properties)
Non-Member Residents:
0 (Some residents (above) are associate members.)
Open to new members:
Yes (only as space become available for sale or rent)
Decision Making:
By consensus (MANY decisions are made by individuals without formal process. Larger, community-wide decisions use a decision-board or facilitated group sessions.)
Identified Leader:
No (The Songaia Board of Directors consists of the entire membership)
Leadership Core Group:
Yes (People rotate on and off a small group, called the Navigators, which orchestrates meetings, plans the budget, etc.)
Labor and Money
Financial Style:
Members have independent finances (no income-sharing, but lots of cost-sharing)
Labor Contribution:
Expected (variable amounts of hours/month - most labor is loosely organized using the "Passion Principle". Exceptions are for our Food Program and Common House cleaning)
Join Fee:
No (to join, you must purchase or rent a home)
Regular Fees:
Yes (monthly assessments for operating budget, capital reserves, insurance, shared food, etc.)
Land and Buildings
Suburban (since 1987, we've seen our area transition from rural to suburbs - there is heavy growth around us)
Land Owners:
Individual community member(s) (legally, we're a condominium, so we own our units and members are part of a home-owner's association which owns/manages the land and common facilities)
No. of Residences:
13 (owned units, each part of a duplex. Two units also have mother-in-law rentals, residents of two homes on adjoining property also participate)
Food, Etc.
% Food Grown:
6-20% (lower % of calories, higher % of $value/tastiness - we focus on highly valued crops, such as tomatoes, peas, basil, and green beans)
Shared Meals:
2-5 times/week (Mon - Thu dinner and Sat breakfast for many years)
Dietary Choice or Restrictions:
Diet is up to each individual (our norm is for common meals to meet individual dietary needs and we purchase many specialty food items to accomodate)
Dietary Practice:
Other (its quite diverse, we have a wide variety of dietary practices, including omnivores, vegetarians, high protein, low carb, non-dairy, non-wheat, non-glutten, etc.)
Alcohol Use:
Used occasionally (most alcohol use is in private homes. Beer/wine is sometimes served for special events.)
Tobacco Use:
Prohibited (tobacco is prohibited in all common areas - today, none of the residents smoke.)
Social Factors
Common Spiritual Practices:
Yes (we have a shared spirit life, but its eclectic and non-dogmatic - attempting to be inclusive of all individual spirit paths)
Which Spiritual Traditions:
Other (Spiritual Humanism, Agnosticism, Aetheism, Private Journeys)
Educational Style(s):
Public schooled (some parents use private school-supported Home Schooling)
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Current Editor(s): cohousing, craigragland
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