"This is the only place this conversation, about aging with support in community, is happening. Right here." - Katie McCamant, CoHousing Solutions at the Aging Better Together Conference, May 2016
Indeed, the Aging Better Together Conference took the bull by the horns in addressing how cohousing can empower seniors to age successfully - and have fun in the process. The program unveiled ideas for reinventing aging through a community framework: how cohousing can empower older adults to self-organize into high-functioning communities of support; how the principles of aging in community can provide the blueprint for everyone to ask for, receive and give care; how senior-friendly cohousing can contribute to a sense of purpose that improves our health, happiness and creative productivity.
Bob Branstrom, Wolf Creek Lodge (Grass Valley, CA)
Wolf Creek Lodge shares about 2 acres of open space with our neighbors. Much of this open space is forested and, like other California forests, has become overgrown after years of fire suppression. Combined with several years of drought, this can result in unhealthy trees as too many trees compete for water, air and sunlight.
[A repost from Peter Lazar's blog at http://www.emersoncommons.org/blog ]
I'm writing this at 34,000 on my flight to the 2016 Aging in Place conference hosted by Coho/US in Salt Lake City. I like in-flight wi-fi ! , but I digress...
The topic of Aging in Place got me thinking about the benefits of living in community as we get older. I think of my former neighbor, Betty, who in her vibrant 80s was an active contributing member and cook for the community. Then she broke her hip. Such a setback at that age could easily have sent her to the nursing home. But her neighbors rallied and took turns bringing her meals until she recovered. She lived quite a while longer in that setting than she could have, living alone....Similarly, the neighborhood recently helped another beloved neighbor as she was recovering from cancer. Key to both of their successes was that they were contributing community members before they got sick. Their years of contributing to the community resulted in appreciation by others who were more than happy to help them in their time of need.
Cynthia Dettman, The Commons on the Alameda (Santa Fe)
What are intergenerational co-housing communities and advocacy groups doing to attract and retain members who don’t fit the common (middle aged, middle class, white, heterosexual) co-housing profile? In this article Queer, Person of Color, or Low-Income; Is Cohousing Possible for Me?, Cynthia Dettman shares her perspective and some options to consider.
Attached and available for download are Coho/US packages seeking FNMA and FHA-HUD support. We encourage readers to use this package if helpful; for example, cohousing groups seeking financing and may want to share with banks; communities may want to share the "state of cohousing" with media.
Coho/US is leading an effort to have Fannie Mae (FNMA), the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and the Finance Housing Agency (FHA) address cohousing in their lender guidelines. These agencies write the guidelines that determine the underwriting rules for most American home loans. We are asking these agencies to address cohousing in their underwriting guidelines in order to reduce the confusion from lenders. Specifically, we are asking that they include a searchable note that simply states: Cohousing communities should be evaluated as any other condominium, cooperative, multifamily or single family development would be, depending on the community’s relevant financial and legal structure.
It was like a party! I was an informal greeter and met so many interesting and lively people. Maybe this response is a nice indication that our society is beginning to think realistically and creatively about housing. ST, Acequia Jardin (Albuquerque) It gave us a chance to show off our beautiful community, and find potential buyers for current homes for sale, but also setting seeds for the future. More people now know about us and know more about cohousing. Katie McCamant, Nevada City Cohousing (California)
Many thanks to the 95 communities across the country who opened their doors and welcomed the public for our inaugural National Cohousing Open House Day on April 30th....the vast majority of participating communities enjoyed robust crowds and diverse visitors - from the curious, to the “let’s sit down and talk” serious, to many who were re-educated in what they thought cohousing was. We estimate 3,000 folks joined in based on early survey results. Coho/US....
Karla Mathewson Zervos, Lifespan Home Modifications
Lifespan Home Modifications was founded 15 years ago in the state with the fastest aging population per capita and no retirement communities: Alaska. Like the rest of the country, residents assumed they would retire and remain in the same home and community where they raised their families. But as the stark realities of Aging in Place emerged, the growing need for homes designed and modified specifically for low maintenance, safe navigation, aging eyesight, home healthcare, cognitive changes and other age-related factors became obvious.
Germantown Commons in Nashville Tennessee held a Weekend Celebration April 29-30. Friday was the ribbon cutting for the completion of the common house and project and Saturday a celebration nationally with the National Cohousing Open House Day. Several hundred people attended the two days of events. Bryan Bowen & Kristen Uttieo, architects with Caddis, from Boulder Colorado were on hand to speak at the ceremony and greet visitors in the open house. A furry of activity started on Thursday as furnishings began arriving for the new space and many of the members were up late putting furniture together and stocking the kitchen. The enthusiasm carried forward through the two days and three nights of activity. Fox News, Channel 17 was on hand to record the festivities with a newscast for the community to show off to all of Middle Tennessee. http://fox17.com/news/local/germantown-commons-is-first-co-housing-commu...
Responses posted on coho-l addressing how cohousers help improve their neighborhoods
Takoma Village was the first new housing development in our neighborhood in eons. The neighborhood was considered by some as dangerous. Don’t walk home from the Metro after 9:00. Body found ….. Mugging…. Stuff like that but not as often as when I lived in NYC.