Board of Directors

Heidi Berggren

Heidi caught the shared and collaborative housing bug while living in a graduate student housing cooperative in Austin, Texas, which harkened back to her progressive childhood in Berkeley, CA. While dormant for many years as “life” happened, her personal and professional enthusiasm for this kind of living revived when she began working as a professor in political science and women’s and gender studies at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. In 2010, she went to a meeting of a forming community in nearby Westport, MA. While this cohousing project ultimately stalled, the meeting set her on the path to studying cohousing as a potential source of broader social improvement and civic renewal. Her research was already focused on the various facets of democracy and political/social equality and the factors that cause them to flourish, so cohousing fit right in and she has been focusing on cohousing in the research component of her job at UMD ever since. She serves as the Assistant Director of the Cohousing Research Network, and in this capacity has helped to create and administer cohousing community- and resident-level surveys. She has published her research in academic journals, including in Housing and Society, and has just received an internal seed grant at UMD to set up a longitudinal panel study of residents of cohousing communities and of forming communities throughout the United States. The goal is to discover the determinants of successful and accessible cohousing communities, and ultimately to contribute to the project of cohousing as a beneficial and durable housing option for wider publics.