Alice Alexander's blog

Communities Magazine: a Pathway to Community

Laird Schaub continues to be an inspirational leader and exceptional advocate in building community and living cooperatively. I am one of his many fans who enjoy his blog posts, which Coho/US will occasionally feature. This blog highlights the Communities Magazine, published by FIC, which has benefited from Laird's leadership for over 20 years. I encourage interested folks to sign up via http://www.ic.org/community-bookstore/category/communities-magazine/comm... Laird's post provides an interesting history of his involvement and where the magazine is today.

Sharing Circles and Square Pegs

With due respect to the ancient traditions which anthropologists inform us are the roots of Circle meetings—and which therefore testify to the vitality and resilience of that form—I want to raise questions about how far to take Circles in today's context....While I don't think Circle is the one ring to rule them all, and I don't know if the Circle will be unbroken, I think it fully deserves an honored place in the pantheon of format options for cooperative groups.

Regional Cohousing Conference - Boulder, CO Sept 26-28, 2014

2016 Update: There was a fabulous conference in 2014! Please consider attending our 2016 Cohousing Conference in Salt Lake City. Visit www.cohousing.org/2016aging

There will be a Regional Cohousing Conference in Boulder, Colorado, on the weekend of Sept 26-28, 2014. All cohousers, wanna-be cohousers and anyone else interested are invited. There will be topics of interest to both established cohousing communities, and those just starting out. More information visit http://www.cohousing.org/2014boulder

National Conference: The Next Generation and Our Children Of Cohousing

With cohousing communities taking hold in the early 1990’s, we have produced a generation of “children of cohousing.” These now-young adults benefited greatly from growing up in a cohousing community. We are looking for their stories, their experiences; how they have applied “cohousing lessons” in their 20’s and 30’s. Is there anything profoundly different about their networking and other skills, world views or approaches to life than others of their generation who did not grow up in cohousing? Ideally we could benefit from their participation in the 2015 National Cohousing Conference: The Next Generation.

What should a forming group ....get a good plan for NOW?"

Grace Kim responded to a query on cohousing-l to “cohousing veterans:”
“What should we (a forming group) be worried about / work out in advance / get a good plan for NOW?"

I'll preface my advice with the fact that I am an architect, but also a founding member of an urban cohousing group in Seattle that will break ground later this summer. Even though my husband and I are architects and purchased the land more than 4 years ago, it has taken us this long to get to construction (recession was not in our timeline, and the bank attitudes towards lending during the recovery also has hit us hard).

While it's good to do as much research and due diligence for free/little cost, I'm a firm believer that you will need to invest (mentally, emotionally and financially) in the process in order to succeed. (As a business owner, I've often said you have to spend money to make money - same principle here but the making part is the community).

Why Starting with a Proposal is Usually a Bad Idea

Laird's Blog - Why Starting with a Proposal is Usually a Bad Idea

As a process consultant for cooperative groups one of the most common things I'm asked to address is why it's such a slog to solve problems in plenary. While there are number of things that may be in play, I want to focus here on one particular culprit that's a frequent contributor: expecting that topics come to plenary in the form of a proposal.

“Cohousing” & HUD: A Love Story

Talk about moving a mountain … are “Cohousing” and HUD falling in love?
Matchmaker and Cohousing Coach, Raines Cohen, a Cohousing California regional organizer living at Berkeley Cohousing, dished out the ice cream and hot fudge Tuesday night. The assembled were celebrating the end of a petition campaign to have HUD treat cohousing condominiums the same as all other condominiums for purposes of certifying a cohousing project for federally backed mortgage insurance.

Neighborhood USA Conference - Cohousing was there!

Nearly 600 participants attended Neighborhood USA's 29th annual conference May 21-25 in Eugene, Oregon, and Oakleigh Meadow, Eugene's first cohousing neighborhood, was there with them. Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing, a 28 unit community being built right on the city's waterfront, is scheduled to begin construction this September. Selected as a conference exhibitor, Oakleigh Meadow promoted cohousing as an exciting, burgeoning model for building strong neighborhoods.

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