"Old is new again in housing, from tight-knit neighborhoods where residents look after one another to fresh twists on boardinghouses. The hot word is communal..." begins a recent Parade Magazine piece, featuring communities like Capital Hill Urban Cohousing and Village Hearth. "How America Lives" brings cohousing to the mainstream public, and as in much of the recent prominent coverage of this topic - demystifies and celebrates this unique, collaborative housing type many of us live in/are in pursuit of.
Chuck Durrett of McCamant & Durrett Architects, NE Cohousing Summit Presenter
There is a senior housing crisis in this country. In the United States, traditional senior housing options aren’t meeting the needs of older adults. Many attempts to put seniors in community have proven to work short term, but funding and employee retention continue to strain these organizations. Senior support, like Meals on Wheels, drains local economies and is constantly at risk of being dropped, which could leave seniors without access to proper nutrition and socialization.
Elizabeth (Liz) Magill, NE Cohousing Summit Presenter
Why can't we all just get along?
Some percentage of people who join a cohousing community do so because they want everyone to "just get along". Idyllic images of not just knowing your neighbors, but also of really liking to hang out with your neighbors flutter through our heads.
And then we move in. Or maybe the first break with that image happens before move-in. Maybe its an email that sets it off, or something that happens with the kids and you have different views of what to do about it or even different views as to what happened.
“I don’t want to be a used car salesman.” This is the response I most often hear when I ask forming cohousing groups to describe their feelings around using sales techniques in their membership recruitment.
And I get it. We tend to stereotype sales people as sleazy movie car salesman: they pounce aggressively and they don’t listen. They leave us feeling coerced. We picture the guy to the left.
Annie Lehman of PDX Commons & Coho/US Board Member
I recently returned from the Coho/US Regional Conference in Boulder, CO and I’m still high on the vitality that we shared the entire weekend. Wherever you looked, the almost 200 attendees were talking intently, meeting new people, sharing experiences, hopes, and dreams for the future. Plus it all felt positive, even when we discussed challenges, like managing conflict. What was evident all weekend was the “community” we all strive for - new, old, seeking, building, and living it. There was a fervent sense that this is what is needed right now. It was such a welcome and welcoming feeling.
The Regional Cohousing Conference this weekend in Boulder, CO will bring cohousing professionals, those seeking cohousing and existing communities all together - there to share and gather knowledge to bring back to their established/new/in-process communities.
Hear from Bryan Bowen of Caddis Architects (and resident at Wild Sage Cohousing) on why you should be excited for this weekend!
"The Conference is a great place to share ideas, to learn how to fine tune your community's best practices or even how to start a new community."
While there is an abundance of information on our Coho/US website about the variety of cohousing communities, as well as the option to post inquiries to the Cohousing-L list serve, nothing compares to spending time at a community. Whether you are forming a community and in the process of learning all that you can, or living in an established community and wanting to observe how others do things, this is time well spent.
Let's talk resilience! That's what I'll be doing at the Regional Cohousing Conference this year and I hope you all are coming and want to dig in to that concept. What does it mean for our communities to be resilient: economically, ecologically and socially?