In January while in London, my wife and I visited what is probably the newest multi-generational cohousing community in the UK: Springdale Gardens Cohousing. It is in the middle of a block, completely surrounded by row houses, in the Stoke Newington district of north London. It consists of a single building with six units on three levels, shared laundry room and a large common room, with space for gardens. Every unit is different; owners were allowed to customize.
We are gathering a collection of videos (and other materials) about growing up in cohousing that we are hoping to debut at the National Cohousing Conference in Durham, NC in May.
Do you know young, teen, or grown children in your community who enjoy music, drama, poetry and/or video production. Do you have some awesome video clips from talent shows, speeches, or performances?
As the number of senior cohousing communities continues to grow, seniors have more choice in the type and location of a community that best fits their lifestyle. Elderberry, a cohousing community near Durham, North Carolina, is unique in that it is designed for seniors who want to live in a rural community as they grow older, caring for and supporting one another in creating a community homestead among gardens, farm animals, and nature, on a path toward more ecological living. Most senior cohousing is developed in urban areas that provide “walkability” as a key feature. For individuals who wish to be close to stores, restaurants, and entertainment, this is an excellent choice. But for seniors who prefer country life to city life, the woods, farms, trails, wildlife, gardens, animals, and starry skies are worth the occasional drive to town.
Check out this article from the Atlantic "City Lab" http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/01/can-boomers-make-cohousing-mainst...
Katie McCamant is quoted: "McCamant predicts the number [of cohousing communities] will double within 10 years."
One of my quotes: "Baby boomers are demanding a better way to live. We want to be sustainable; we want community, happiness."
This upbeat profile is dampened with this perspective: Christopher Leinberger, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says although cohos mesh philosophically with what many aging baby boomers want—dense, walkable communities—so do a lot of traditional developments that don't come with so many legal and financial headaches...."Banks still underwrite experience every bit as much as they underwrite balance sheets."
Patrick Han, Coho/US Board member, was approached by The Henry George School of Social Science in New York City to lead a seminar on cohousing Jan 28th. Patrick muses, "although there are no cohousing communities in NY City yet, the ‘word’ is being brought to the heathens." More on the session "Building Vibrant Communities - The Cohousing Experience" below. Patrick lives in Greenwich Village, and is leading a group looking to create the first cohousing community in New York City.
Volunteering with the 2015 National Cohousing Conference is a great way to get involved and contribute your talents - and our success is dependent on your voluntary contributions. The following leadership positions will convey complimentary registration if needed (we are unable to provide transportation and lodging). Numerous assistant roles are available, and may convey complimentary registration without meals (meals can be purchased). These positions and responsibilities will evolve and grow as we identify and refine needs.
I was recently in a discussion at home where about eight of us were shining our collective light on the topic of feminism. While there was ready agreement that Dancing Rabbit aspired to be a feminist community, it wasn't so easy defining what that meant, and even some resistance to making the attempt.....This is very murky territory, where the observations of any party can be discounted as biased. All can have a piece of the truth; some can be off base.
We are completing five months in our digs and five months into the adventure of being a cohousing community. Several people in the community have pointed out that adventure requires missed turns, missed trains, etc. Something that goes smoothly is a vacation; all else is an adventure. I like to think of our first five months as similar to a newborn.
Some call me an “experienced cohouser,” but I am also a “wounded cohouser.” It’s like having cohousing PTSD. I am now a part of a newly forming cohousing group http://newamericanvillages.com/ and with every hint of delay, I get spooked. When potential members express their concerns, I think “Oh, yeah, be worried—be very worried.” I hesitate to lead but know that being in a community like this means that I can’t just follow passively. When anyone asks when the community will be built, I say “in about a year.” And then I cry a little inside.
At Jubilee Cohousing in Floyd, VA, we are hard at work with our cohousing-savvy builder designing our neighborhood and homes. We are ambitiously building an all Passivhaus neighborhood and Common House (ultra-low energy design/construction) and it feels great, like we’re experiencing our own mini energy revolution! 2014 has been an amazing year of happenings...