Alice Alexander's blog

2015 National Cohousing Conference a Tremendous Success

What an amazing experience! The 2015 National Cohousing Conference was a huge success by any measure. The comments received were overwhelmingly positive; the criticisms primarily noted that the rooms were too small and the A/C challenged, driven by our sell-out crowd. Indeed, this conference broke attendance records, with 457 folks. Given the conference success was a direct reflection of tremendous volunteer investment, outstanding presenters, and cohousing enthusiasts eager to learn and share, every participant should be proud. Highlights:

Coming from France: Attracted by Cohousing in US

I had the incredible opportunity to participate to the National Cohousing Conference last week in Durham. This kind of event really helps you to understand how big the movement now is that Katie and Chuck started in the 80's. Like me coming from France, people from all around the world have been attracted by the successful development of cohousing projects.

We're Not in Kansas Anymore: Reflections on the Conference

This is part of a "Go Ask Alice" blog posted by Rosemary Wyman with Jubilee Cohousing

I can promise you I wasn’t smoking or doing anything trippy, but the three days that I spent at the national cohousing conference in Durham, NC were powerful, and felt trippy. Accustomed as we are to being the lone cohousers for at least 25 miles, we were suddenly just seven Jubilee members from Floyd, VA, at sea in a living ocean of nearly 500 cohousers from all over the nation as well as Australia and South Africa.
Not to mix my metaphors, but we just weren’t in Kansas any more.

ELF Fun during National Conference Reception

Thank you for allowing Organic Transit to show the CoHousing Conference attendees our ELF. If you didn’t get a chance to see the ELF, it is the solar/pedal powered, battery assist recumbent bike. The ELF has a top electric speed of 20 mph, 500 pound payload carrying capacity, weather protection through its encapsulated shell, and efficiency of 1800 miles per gallon!

Neurodiverse Cohousing: What is it and Why does it Matter?

[Desiree Kameka will be a panelist for the "More than Just Cohousing" session at the 2015 National Cohousing Conference.]

Diversity is often spoken of in terms of ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status, but what about neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity encompasses the idea that there is a broad human expression of neurological differences. As we move away from the medicalization of diagnoses, we learn that those with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, along with the five million adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) are different, not less than those who are “neurotypical.” We live in a neurodiverse world!

How is Coho/US Doing?

This is a re-post of the opening words of Cohousing Now! eNews published 4/28/15. If you are not subscribed, please do so at

April marks my one year serving as Executive Director of Coho/US. So how is the association doing? In a phrase, just fine, and getting better! Here's a profile of Strategic Plan progress.

Stabilizing Revenue Stream - As we refine a business model for long term sustainability, we now enjoy a much stronger financial position than one year ago, including:

The Importance of Cohousing: Sky Blue/Communities Conference

Reposting this blog on the Communities Conference site:
Twin Oaks Community Conference: Sept 4-7, 2015, Louisa VA

Cohousing is a fascinating model of intentional community. It originated in Europe, particularly Denmark. It’s success in the US (at least 135 identified communities in the US) is at least in part due to the fact that it looks and operates similar to existing ownership models, particularly condominiums...Cohousing communities are distinguished from conventional models by an increased emphasis on shared facilities and collective management structures. The square footage of units tends to be smaller, and decision-making is often consensus. They also tend to be designed to foster social interaction with parking lots and driveways pushed to the sides and pedestrian walkways connecting units that face towards each other....The similarity to conventional models means that they are the communities most accessible to average, middle-class Americans.

Organic Transit's ELF: Take a Ride at the Conference

Durham Central Park Cohousing is looking forward to hosting National Conference participants at a reception in our new home on Saturday, May 30th, 5:00-7:00 pm. As an added delight, we'll be offering spins in a Durham-grown product, the ELF. Organic Transit's ELF is a trike with solar-powered battery back-up, all in a colorful shell that protects drivers from the elements as they burn off Kcals, commute, or haul groceries -- all the while contributing to a cleaner environment. .....Several ELFs will be on hand at Durham Coho on May 30th, along with an Organic Transit rep to answer your questions. Want to learn more? We at Durham Coho look forward to seeing you at the reception!

Cohousing Development: Perennial Potlucks or a Land Development Project?

Mike Ortosky, a founder of Earthwise Company, will be our Keynote Speaker at the National Cohousing Conference May 28-31 in Durham, NC. Mike and his associates are committed to initiatives that are based in the principles of environmental and economic sustainability and social equity. Mike shared these ideas with us recently:
There are two possible approaches to building a cohousing community: focus on land development process first, and community development second. Or, focus on community development first, and land development processes second. Historically, many cohousing communities did the latter...

You Take Care of Mom, but Who Will Take Care of You?

Grace Kim has written a great article that profiles how cohousing offers a good alternative to assisted living, or to continuing care facilities.
This was published in Blueprints for Senior Living – an online journal for the Design For Aging committee of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Grace will be presenting "Cohousing: A Sustainable Model for Living Independently" on Friday, May 15 at the AIA Convention in Atlanta.


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