Alice Alexander's blog

Pushing Versus Inviting

There's a prevalent style of facilitation that's mostly passive—where the person running the meeting isn't doing much more than deciding who'll talk next, punctuated by the occasional need to blow the whistle, perhaps to signal that time has expired or to announce a restart, either to referee moments of fulminating tension or to cut through the fog of creeping chaos.

Grateful for Community

As we near the end of 2016, we who are so lucky to live in community have much to be grateful for; most importantly: good, caring neighbors who are willing to actively engage in the process of creating great neighborhoods to grow up in, and to age in.

As we ponder the state of the world this holiday season, it appears the art of conversation and dialogue is ever more important.

A Legacy Continues with Joani Blank

Joani Blank, a cohousing pioneer who passed last August, has continued her impact and influence through a legacy gift provided to Coho/US. We are pleased and humbled to receive this gift from the Joani Blank Trust. And inspired to do more to grow cohousing and nurture our communities!

Planning and Zoning Commission - Support for your Application

I recently had the opportunity to speak before a City/County Planning Commission in support of Village Hearth Cohousing in Durham, North Carolina. Many of you will remember - or are gearing up for - addressing issues of parking, road access, home clustering and more, to obtain approval for building.

If helpful, I am sharing my remarks (attached) as Executive Director of the Cohousing Association of the U.S. My aim was to:

Cost of Living in Cohousing? You Can Help ...

Cohousing Friends —

Coho Cost of Living Data Solicitation. Similar to efforts made in 2010-12, the Cohousing Research Network (CRN) and CohoUS are collaborating on a “cost of living in cohousing” research project. Our intent is to collect new and more detailed information on community budget and finance, and make a report at the May 2017 National Cohousing Conference in Nashville.

Appreciating Cohousing: Hot Soup Cure for Negative Worldview

This Thanksgiving break, I’ve been especially grateful for my cohousing bubble. When I drive home in the dark at 6pm after a long business trip, I look up the hill and appreciate seeing the lights on in the common house. My worries and concerns of the external world stay outside the door as I join the impending common meal.

Like catching a cold, I think I’ve caught a bad case of negative worldview from the news and media that I have consumed. It’s gotten so bad that I’m sometimes up at night. I think the cure might be a delicious hot bowl of my neighbor Stephanie’s soup and some good conversation.

Reserve Studies and Why Every Project Needs One!

Editor’s Note: Learn more from a webinar on reserve studies we are planning with National Condo Advisors for January 2017; and at the 2017 National Cohousing Conference, where Darlene, and cohousers Sharon Villines and Lyons Witten will be presenting about reserve studies. Also at the conference, National Condo Advisors will be exhibiting as part of their Sustaining Sponsorship of the Conference.

Why Cohousing? What Do I Love About This?

Editor's Note: Annie Lehman has joined the Coho/US Board of Directors. Welcome to Annie!
Having never lived in an intentional community (college doesn't count), I don't know what it will feel like when I move next April to PDX Commons, a senior (I prefer to say boomer) cohousing project currently forming in SE Portland. I do know I will be surrounded by people who want to live in community and who think intelligently about the world around them. I've spent the last two years getting to know these folks (and others have worked for years before I entered the picture) to build this community and the building.
What do I love about this?

Defining Cooperative Culture

Back in 1974, when a group of four of us started Sandhill Farm, I started down a path that ultimately added up to my dedicating my life to building community. While that commitment has never wavered (the need for community today as more urgent than ever), I've frequently adjusted the lens through which I see what I'm doing.

One of the most potent and enduring ways to frame my life's work is that I am promoting cooperative culture—as an alternative to the competitive culture that dominates mainstream society. But what does that mean, cooperative culture?

Placitas Sage in New Mexico Spends Thanksgiving with FarAways

Placitas Sage Cohousing, located just north of Albuquerque, in Placitas New Mexico, is so excited to welcome our "FarAway" members for an In-Gathering over the Thanksgiving holidays. Since we are still in the process of getting our land re-zoned and have not yet been able to start building our homes, we are focused on building our community. To that end, most of our members who live outside of New Mexico (who we lovingly call our "FarAways"), will be arriving between Nov 18 and 20 to stay with local members until December 1.

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