Cohousers don’t only talk the green talk, they walk the green walk.
Yet the sustainable lifestyle inherent in intentional neighborhoods is not always outwardly apparent to the greater community (minus solar panels on rooftops or street-facing gardens). It’s a goal of many forming communities to demonstrate these built-in savings, embodied in greener-built homes, on-site activities resulting in less driving and the overall sharing culture.
Californians had a lot of choices for where to visit last Saturday the 30th for Cohousing Open House Day. From Arcata to L.A. to the Bay and Sierra Foothills in-between, 19 communities participated - more than any other state (though you came close, Massachusetts). I had the treat of touring Muir Commons in Davis, and arrived curious about who and what I'd find in this 25 year-old community, the very first built in the United States. I wondered - Does community stand the test of time, when only a few founding members are left?
Cohousing groups across the country need project managers and marketing assistance to help them realize their dreams. CoHousing Solutions’ 500 Communities Program is halfway though its first year training. We’re starting to recruit for our next class!
Our Getting It Built Workshop comes almost exactly on the nine-year anniversary of the day I first heard of cohousing. At the time, I was a member of the Board of Directors of Tri-City Homeless Coalition (now Abode Services). In that capacity, I attended the Housing California Conference April 23-25, 2007 at the Sacramento Convention Center with fellow Board members Charlie Scribner and Doug Ford.
Katie McCamant's recent interview centered on cohousing's benefits to those entering the "next act" of their lives. Her responses speak to the tandem benefits of this nexus: aging in community while remaining integrated in the fabric of our chosen city/region. Katie's experience as development consultant, cohousing entrepreneur and lead at CoHousing Solutions grounds the discussion, while tying in nicely to this hot-topic of May's Aging Better Together Conference in Salt Lake City.
Social capital’s a fairly common buzzword these days, but I especially like the idea of taking stock of our connections. This notion, of a social portfolio, has been on my mind all week. In our age of near-constant digital connectivity, embracing our tangible community circles seems about as important as ever. I say this as a millennial, who's blessed to live in a tight-knit town. Yet this value finds equal footing as we age – and the clip where this concept came from brings this idea home.
Over 50 folks joined us, North Bay Cohousing, on Sept 13th in Novato, CA to learn about two real and now cohousing opportunities in the North Bay: a Novato site for sale and a Cotati site under contract.