How Are We Doing?

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. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/cohousing?code=home
Your national association exists to serve, enhance and grow our cohousing communities – and your support provides the necessary financial stability to expand our potential to support our communities and raise national visibility.

Coho/US goals and progress include:

•Educating and inspiring through national and regional conferences
◦A Regional Cohousing Conference in Boulder is set for Sept 26-28, 2014 with the theme “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”
◦The 2015 National Cohousing Conference will be hosted in Durham, NC (May 29-31, 2015) with the theme “The Next Generation”

•Serving as a connector for resources, professional services, and marketing for members and selling or renting homes
◦A redesigned Coho/US website launched in June with positive reviews
◦Numerous resources have been catalogued and added recently; we are seeking a resource librarian intern to bolster our work
◦Daily we answer inquiries via our website and phone to connect folks to resources, communities and services

•Building a national cohousing community through networks and mentoring
◦We have strengthened collaborations with three aligned organizations: the Partnership for Affordable Housing, the Cohousing Research Network, and the Fellowship for Intentional Community
◦Plans include creating mentoring programs for communities
◦Plans include creating opportunities for enhancing the vibrancy of our communities

•Elevating cohousing to a household name
◦We are planning an annual Cohousing Open House Day, to premiere next summer
◦We are identifying opportunities for tours, conference presentations, earned media, and a public education campaign

•Creating a cohousing-friendly social and political environment
◦Officials within HUD (Housing and Urban Development) are recognizing cohousing, with meetings in Washington, and a positive response to treating cohousing condominiums the same as all other condominiums for certifying for federally backed mortgage insurance
◦We are in discussions to create a loan program to facilitate access to funds for cohousing projects, with potentially one fund focused on affordability
◦We are reviving the Cohousing Research Network towards generating data to increase understanding, credibility and viability of cohousing

The Coho/US Board created a roadmap to achieve these strategic goals, with action plans and deliverables. A catalyst for these efforts was hiring me as executive director – a leap for the organization given modest resources, and reliance on philanthropy. With our committed and talented board, I am confident we will be successful in strengthening and expanding our potential and impact.

I hope you feel pride as I do to be part of the cohousing movement. Thank you for being part of our ambitions, and for considering a gift to bolster the organization.

Please share with me thoughts, ideas, and offers to get involved! alicecohous [at] gmail [dot] com

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