How often have you experienced a response of, “oh, I’m not ready to live in a commune,” when sharing your cohousing life. Communes, eco-villages and the like are of course excellent models of community and sustainability; however, our culture honors private ownership and control of resources. With this prejudice, our cohousing model, which highlights privacy in the mix of community, and most often involves private home ownership, allows us to “crack the nut” of resistance to intentional community.
When I took on the role of Executive Director of Coho/US in April, I was ready to partner with the board in tackling our ambitious goals set over the winter. With almost 5 months on the job, on this Labor Day, I thought it time to provide a summary “how are we doing?”
An initial priority was stabilizing the organization’s revenue stream, and that translates to encouraging giving by our cohousers. I hope that as you read our goals and progress, you will be inspired to give.
Coho/US goals and progress include:
Attached is the July 2014 update of my Green Tax Incentive Compendium which includes incentives for projects. Feel free to forward it to any of your colleagues in Cohousing Association of the US or other people you know working in green building or renewable energy that might find it useful. Let me know if you have any questions. Please also note my new contact info below.
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and the rest of the summer!
Laura Fitch and Doug Henderson-James are a great pairing as Co-Chairs of the National Cohousing Conference (May 2015). Laura, a principal with Kraus Fitch Architects, crafted our "next generation theme." Doug is founder and project manager of Durham Central Park Cohousing, providing local leadership and urban self-development experience.
Coho/US welcomes two new members joining the Board of Directors. Peter Lazar is a resident of Shadowlake Village Cohousing in Blacksburg, and a founder of Sheeflee Cohousing in Charlottesville. An award-winning technology entrepreneur, Peter has been involved in the Web since its inception. Diana Sullivan is a founder of Germantown Commons/New American Villages in Nashville, which she formed after returning from the 2010 Cohousing Conference. A commercial real estate broker, with experience in non-profit community leadership, Diana wants to create more cohousing in Tennessee and support our efforts to expand cohousing nationally.
"It is a strategy I think a community could use to jump start their program, and then talk about how to reduce the centralization after a year or more of successful meals. Since we have quite slowly added new households it is quite clear that our successful meals program is what has helped get more people involved in it."
Being interviewed by two reporters in two days about “senior cohousing” is an indication that aging in cohousing is receiving more attention. And this is good, since we know how beneficial cohousing is to life quality, and can be a particularly good choice for older adults. Here are some of the benefits I identified during my interviews, most of which can apply to anyone living in cohousing. However, these in particular address the unique circumstances that seniors can face:
We at Wolf Creek Lodge recognize the need to educate those with an interest in cohousing. Only then will they be receptive to invitations to visit our community. We have had success in partnering with other cohousing communities and presenting Cohousing Forums. Earlier this month on July 10th Wolf Creek Lodge teamed with Phoenix Commons and others to present a “Senior Cohousing Forum – Cohousing for the 50+ Generation”.