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Schedule & Session Descriptions

Session descriptions will be posted here as they are available.


Join us for opening remarks from the Cohousing Association staff and board, including instructions for using technology for this online conference.

Christine Hernandez, Keynote

Let’s start from this orientation: HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT!

It goes without saying that the last two years have been full of difficulty and challenges. The damage of a Trump presidency, a global pandemic, civil unrest related to systemic oppression and racism and catastrophic climate events. Since the onset of COVID-19, many of us, who are not stuck in the struggle to meet our most basic need for shelter, are taking inventory and giving deep consideration to our individual lives and how we move through the world. As you continue on this journey and process, I would like to challenge you to give equal consideration to your current orientation, and how your life and wellness is interconnected to that of others.

Can cohousing be a tool for justice?


Session 1
Economically Integrated Cohousing
Jim Leach, Katie McCamant, Bryan Bowen

This experienced panel will present models of and lessons learned from low and moderate income housing in cohousing communities and will include a discussion of potential new models of economically integrated communities.

Cohousing and Sustainability
Laura Fitch

This session will explore how a cohousing community can be uniquely positioned to push the edge of sustainability.

Recognizing and Responding to Classism in Communities
Matt Stannard

Material inequality is a primordial source of oppression. Classism is a set of behaviors, attitudes, and cultural characteristics that normalize material inequality. Classism undermines efforts to build successful intentional communities, cohousing communities, and cooperative organizations. This program will do the following: 1. Frame socioeconomic insecurity as a source of social differentiation and personal trauma. 2. Utilize anecdotes from intentional community experiences to illustrate unintentional and intentional classism; provide important metrics, statistics, and empirical data on socioeconomic insecurity and class. 3. Discuss why some attempted solutions to classism fail and what effective responses to classism do.

Innovations in Affordability
Betsy Morris

How have cohousing communities baked affordability into their projects? Looking back over the last two decades, what have we learned? What new opportunities, partnerships, funding sources and changes in how we think about cohousing can keep pushing the edges?

Session 2
Creating Approaches for Affordability
Jim Leach, Katie McCamant, Bryan Bowen

This will be an interactive session with experience professionals and audience members working together to consider options and possibilities for increasing affordability in cohousing.

Affordability by Design and Intention: Case Studies from Takoma Village Cohousing and Elderspirit Cohousing
Ann Zabaldo, Dene Peterson, Yoomie Ahn

There are two kinds of affordability in cohousing: the kind that is “baked-in by design” — grants, subsidies, tax credits, municipal bonds and, the “extra ordinary” financial programs created by cohousing communities that provide financial assistance beyond the “sharing and caring” model of cohousing. Dene Peterson, ElderSpirit and Ann Zabaldo, Takoma Village, will present case studies on how their communities used and continue to use both kinds of affordability to substantially reduce costs to their members. Yoomie Ahn, Gratitude EcoVillage, a forming group, will moderate the session.

Affordability and Aging: Reverse Mortgages & Community Support Funds
Raines Cohen

As we live, grow, and age in cohousing, some of us face increasing costs and fixed incomes. How can we prevent displacement and keep our neighborhoods thriving? We’ll look at institutional options (Reverse Mortgages) and mutual support systems (Squirrel Fund) and how they can serve your community.

Building a pocket neighborhood in rural Oklahoma – Lessons learned
Ty Albright

Using an all-equity strategy, Ty took under a city block in Sulphur Oklahoma, worked with local talent and supplies and developed 8 lots plus a common area. He’s built the 1st of 8 homes and is now working on house #2. He did this with no debt. Ty will share actual numbers, experience gained, and mistakes made and offer suggestions for those wanting to attempt something similar.

Session 3
Adding Affordabilities – case studies in affordable cohousing
Charles Durrett

For this session, cohousing Architect Charles Durrett, will dive into several of his past projects including those in Vancouver, Eugene, Anchorage and some of the 18 others outlined in detail in his new book, Community-Enhanced Design: Cohousing and Other High Functioning Neighborhoods. Creating a viable and affordable cohousing neighborhood encompasses many factors such as education and awareness, development and process, finance and legal to affordable materials, constructability and sustainable energy. Charles will be pulling the key information from these case studies to summarize the ways in which designing a neighborhood can be a clear and predictable process.

Including auxiliary rental units in cohousing – Nyland’s experience
Robert Bruegel

One possible approach to improving the affordability of cohousing is to include auxiliary rental units as part of the homes. Nyland – located just east of Boulder, Co – has nearly 30 yrs experience with this. The session will share a Nyland founder’s experience, its impact on affordability, and suggestions for newly forming communities, based on this experience.

Funding and Support Options for BIPOC Communities
Crystal Byrd Farmer

Are you seeking to create a community focused around the needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color? From community land trusts to the BIPOC IC Council, marginalized groups are innovating ways to acquire land and housing.

Working affordably with Professionals and the Built Environment
Kristen Uitto & Stephen Eckert

This presentation will focus on ways to work effectively with design professionals to avoid added cost. It will also identify ways to affordably design units from a space planning aspect to the selection of materials. We will also touch on partnerships that can help build in affordability. Finally it will ask the question, what elements of the process are anti-affordable?


9:0010:0011:0012:00Welcome and Introductions
10:2511:2512:251:25Session 1
11:3512:351:352:35Session 2
12:401:402:403:40Exhibit Hall
1:152:153:154:15Session 3
2:153:154:155:15Closing and Takeaways
2:303:304:305:30Open Discussion
3:004:005:006:00End of Event

Thanks to our Sponsors

Caddis Collaborative

Cohousing Solutions

Schemata Workshop

The Cohousing Company

Urban Development + Partners

Wonderland Hill Development