Thank you! May 29-31, 2015 * Durham Convention Center

Thanks for a great 2015 conference. Click here to find out about the 2017 National Cohousing Conference (May 19-21, 2017 in Nashville)


THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE promises an amazing lineup of offerings, from innovative approaches to developing new and affordable communities, to potent ways to enhance our vibrant communities.

WE WILL COVER cohousing basics as well as hot topics in sustainability, community building, and the evolving definition of cohousing. Our “next generation theme” will explore the new wave of urban, senior and agricultural communities, check-in with our now-adult children of cohousing, and celebrate communities that have thrived for over 20 years.

A PACKED PROGAM, but the conference allows plenty of time for networking, tours of cohousing communities, and fun!


  • The now-adult, children of cohousing
  • The next wave of urban, rural and senior cohousing
  • Emerging trends in financing, design and community models
  • The evolving definition of cohousing
  • Cohousing as a model for other communities nationally
  • Established communities celebrating 20+ years

SINCE THE FIRST American cohousing communities were completed in the early 1990’s, more than 135 communities have been built, with more than a hundred in process. Small and large, urban and rural, newly built and retrofits, these communities have consistently been at the forefront creating environmentally and socially sustainable neighborhoods.

Conference Schedule (Download the Program):
Main Schedule: Friday 3:00 pm - Sunday Noon

Expanded Schedule with Intensives and Tours: Thurs 6:00 pm - Sun 5:00 pm

Conference Registration includes:

  • History of Cohousing in North America: 7:00 pm Thursday
  • Singing in Community: 7:00 pm Thursday
  • Cohousing Research Networking & Presentation of Works in Progress: Friday
  • Gatherings and Networking
  • Sessions and Facilitated Discussions: Sat & Sun
  • Exhibitor Displays: Friday - Sunday
  • Dinner and Keynote featuring Mike Ortosky with Earthwise: 6:00 pm Friday
  • Boxed Lunch: Noon Saturday
  • Reception: 5:00 pm Saturday
  • Tours of Communities On Your Own: afternoon Sunday

Other Offerings - Additional Fee May Apply


Download the Conference Program

image of the flyerDownload the Conference Program



Download the Conference Flyer

image of the flyerDownload the flyer for the conference to print out and post!



Intensives & Tours: Thurs, Fri & Sun (additional fee may apply)


Sessions & Facilitated Discussions - Sat & Sun


Networking, Gatherings & Other Offerings Thurs-Sun (included with registration)


Conference Sponsors

Sustaining Sponsors

Schemata Workshop Logo Caddis Logo Cohousing Partners logo KFA Urban Development Partners National Condo Advisors

Supporting Sponsors

Sage Hill Cohousing Partners FIC NCB

Community Sponsors

Earthwise Company NC State University School of Design Self Help Credit Union Durham Central Park Cohousing Elderberry Cohousing Community Fair Oaks EcoHousing Jubilee Cohousing Community Weinstein Friedlein Architects Liberty Village Hundredfold Farm Cohousing Nightlight Productions Gainesville Cohousing Heartwood Cohousing

Become a Sponsor


Lodging Choices

Durham Marriott City Center - Main Conference Hotel SOLD OUT
201 Foster Street, Downtown Durham
Connected to the Durham Convention Center
$125 = rate available until 5/11/15 ($141.87 with sales & occupancy taxes)
Book your group rate: CoHo/US >>

Duke Towers
807 West Trinity Ave, Durham, NC 27701 | Toll Free 866-385-3869 | Phone 919-687-4444
For discount rate, call and reference “Cohousing Block”
$88 per night ($99.88 with sales & occupancy taxes) - this discount rate is no longer available although rooms may still be available
Distance from Convention Center: 0.7 miles; 14 minute walk

Hilton Garden Inn Durham/University Medical Center
2102 W. Main Street | Durham|
$121 per night ($133 with sales & occupancy tax)
Distance from Convention Center: 1.5 miles
Complimentary shuttle service to the Durham Convention Center

Hampton Inn & Suites
1542 N. Gregson St.
Durham, NC 27701
Distance from Convention Center: 1.7 miles (5 min drive)
$119 per night ($135 with sales & occupancy); includes breakfast

Courtyard by Marriott - Durham
1815 Front Street
Durham, NC 27705
Phone: 919-309-1500
Direct Line: 919-309-7012
$104 per night ($118 with sales & occupancy taxes)
Distance from Convention Center: 3.6 miles (7 min drive)
Shuttle service available if 10+ rooms booked by our group

21c Museum Hotel Durham
21c Museum Hotels is rehabilitating the historic Hill Building in downtown Durham, across from the Durham Convention Center.$279 per night

Durham Bed & Breakfast Options

Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau link to hotels:

airbnb Durham


Come Visit Durham

Come Visit Durham, consistently rated among the best places to live. Considered cool, gritty, grand and growing, the “Bull City” has great parks, nationally-recognized farm to table restaurants, is a mecca for artists, and boasts top theatres. Home to Duke University, Research Triangle Park, and numerous incubation opportunities for entrepreneurs, Durham has a healthy economy. We are proud that Durham and close-by Chapel Hill and Carrboro are home to six thriving cohousing communities.

For more, Visit the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau website

For the adventurous, add on a day or two trip to North Carolina beaches or mountains. Visit NC Website


Conference FAQ

questionsWhat’s the conference schedule and what does registration include?
The conference schedule is detailed in our conference program,
and also beneath the fold on our conference webpage
The main schedule is Friday 3:00 pm - Sunday Noon; your registration fee includes all offerings during this time, as well as a few additional on Thurs evening, Friday, and Sunday. Meals that are included with registration: Friday Dinner & Keynote; Saturday Lunch; and Saturday Reception. An expanded schedule, including intensives and bus tours that may require an additional fee, will begin Thursday 6:00 pm and go through Sunday 5:00 pm.

What are the registration fees?
Early Bird Before 3/1 $320
Discount 3/1 - 4/30 $350
Regular 5/1 - 5/29 $390
Student/Low Income $220
Saturday Only, includes Reception $235
See below for registration fees for children

Where can I find the program offerings?
A downloadable program is available here:
You can also click on the tabs at the bottom on the conference webpage for all the offerings and descriptions.

Do I need to pick sessions when I register?
No. The Sat/Sun sessions are open to all registrants; no need to reserve sessions or facilitated discussions.

What are the Intensives all about?
In addition to a full range of sessions on Sat and Sun, we are offering 1/2 day and full day "intensives" on specialized topics taught by experts. Many require an additional fee. Take a look at our program, or visit

What is the difference between Sessions and Facilitated Discussions?
We are pleased to offer a new format this year of facilitated discussions, comprising 1/3 of our offerings. Facilitated discussions will provide a circle seating format and encourage more sharing of experiences and best practices, focused on hot topics.

What are the "Gatherings" listed under networking all about?
Networking is an essential and important experience at the conference. To facilitate networking, we are offering gatherings of special groups and topics. If you would like to host a gathering, email conference [at] cohousing [dot] org with your idea.

Who is eligible for the Low Income rate?
If you are resource limited, you are eligible to register at this rate. We do encourage you to volunteer at the conference.

Can I volunteer for the conference and receive complimentary registration?
We are counting on volunteers to ensure a successful conference. For those willing to play a significant role, we offer complimentary registration. Please visit and contact us with your interest.

I’ve already registered, and now want to add another intensive, what do I do?
Go through the online registration again and just select those intensives you wish to add. We will be able to combine your registrations.

What about lodging?

How can I find out about Durham?

What about accessibility issues?
The Durham Convention Center is handicapped accessible, but we would appreciate knowing your concerns and if we could be helpful: email conference [at] cohousing [dot] org

Can I bring my children?
Yes! We are not able to provide special programming or formal child care, but would welcome a volunteer coordinating opportunities. Please contact us with your interest.
We are offering these discounts for children until 13:
0-5 years of age - no fee or registration required
6-12 years of age - $50 registration includes Friday night dinner, Sat boxed lunch, and Sat afternoon reception
13-17 years of age - $220 student rate includes full registration offerings
18+ years of age - If attending school, the student rate is available

Can my Cohousing Community have an exhibit table?
You can become a sponsor in order to have an exhibitor table. Visit
You are also welcome to include literature for display at a general community exhibit table - just bring with you to the conference!

What about Meals and Food Restrictions?
We will have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices for our meals. Your registration confirmation email will provide a link for you to detail your dietary restrictions. If you have severe food allergies, please let us know: email conference [at] cohousing [dot] org. For many of us, including those planning our meals, healthy food which is locally sourced when possible is important!

Cancellation and Exchange Policy:
We will refund 85% of your registration fees if you cancel by sending an email on or before Friday, May 1, 2015 to conference [at] cohousing [dot] org.
We will allow you to pass along your registration to another person if you are unable to attend. If you let us know we will be able to provide a name badge for the new person; the exchange can also be handled at the conference.
We also encourage you to donate your registration - as a charitable gift (we will provide a receipt for tax purposes). Your funds will support the conference and allow us to expand the opportunities for learning and networking to cohousers and other wanting to live in community.

Can I sell books and DVDs that I have authored?
Laird Schaub has offered to sell books and DVDs authored by conference participants at the conference bookstore, hosted by the Fellowship for Intentional Community. Visit for more info.

Parking at the Convention Center
Street parking is free, but some spaces have time restrictions. The Durham Center Parking Garage is located across West Morgan Street, and charges $1 per hour. There is also a parking garage on 326 E Chapel Hill St. Valet parking with the Marriott Hotel (which is connected to the Convention Center) is $12.00 per day. For maps and more info visit



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.

Please contact us to share your interest.

Conference Volunteer Leadership Positions, many of which need Volunteer Assistants:

Logistics of Conference Space and Presenter Assistance Coordinator

  • Confirm material and support needs for each presenter
  • Help recruit and assign volunteers to assist presenters as needed
  • Work with ED to assign conference space for all program and networking offerings
  • Work with marketing volunteers to ensure correct signage for presentations
  • Work with marketing volunteers to create a summary of locations for all offerings to be distributed to registrants
  • Collaborate with registration volunteers to determine the best flow
  • Ideally be a local Durhamite who can visit the Conference Center to make the best decisions about location and flow

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday morning through Sunday noon
Additional volunteers will be assigned to assist

Exhibitor Coordinator - Tom Keys has volunteered

  • Engaging exhibitors to determine needs and provide support
  • Determine who is staffing tables, and ensure they are registered
  • Plan where the tables will be located, i.e., who is assigned to what space
  • Assist in planning table space that is shared by sponsors
  • Coordinate with hotel to set up tables
  • Research and order additional tables as needed
  • Ensure security for exhibitors
  • Plan for appropriate signage for exhibitor space
  • Ensure exhibitors are packed up by 1:00 pm on Sunday

Requires on-site management from Friday morning until Sunday noon
Two or more additional “exhibitor assistants” could be assigned

Presenter A/V & Supplies Coordinator

  • Engage presenters to determine needs and provide support
  • As appropriate, assign volunteers to partner with presenters
  • Arrange for materials to be copied and delivered
  • Order and manage A/V equipment
  • As appropriate, assign volunteers to rooms to manage A/V and other needs during the conference

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday morning until Sunday morning
Several “presenter & A/V assistants” will be assigned

Registration Coordinator(s) - to work with Registrars Catya Belfer and Peter Lazar

  • Manage on-site registration of all participants
  • Assist in online registration system use and management
  • Seek out and make available in coordination with conference staff/volunteers helpful registration materials
  • Set up registration table Friday morning, and break down on Sunday morning
  • Plan for early registration at Durham Coho on Thursday
  • Be familiar with the conference offerings and locations to assist participants
  • Several registration staffers will be assigned

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday morning through Sunday morning

“Cohousing Connector” Booth Coordinator

  • Set up and manage an exhibit table offering cohousing resources
  • Seek out and prepare materials for exhibiting
  • Arrange for table to be staffed by knowledgeable cohousing professionals or cohousers [this is a marketing opportunity for professionals]
  • Proactively serve as a connector and clearinghouse

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday afternoon through Sunday noon Volunteer booth staffers to be assigned

Media Coordinator

  • Seek out and secure earned media about the conference and cohousing towards (1) raising visibility and educating the public and (2) promoting attendance at the conference
  • Prepare and distribute press release and press announcement
  • Seek out interview opportunities for cohousing movers and shakers with local and regional press, e.g., Katie McCamant interview by NPR’s Frank Stasio in Chapel Hill; keynote Mike Ortosky interview with Raleigh News & Observer; co-chair Doug Henderson-James with Durham Independent.
  • Work with staff/volunteers to incorporate earned media in promotions and Coho/US website resources.
  • Invite select media to attend the conference, and coordinate their participation

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site availability to coordinate media
Additional volunteers could be assigned to assist

Social Media & Blog Coordinator

  • Utilize social media tools to promote the conference and cohousing towards (1) raising visibility and educating the public and (2) increasing attendance at the conference
  • Recruit folks to blog about the sessions, event and networking while at the conference, and post on Coho/US website and social media
  • Requires pre-conference planning and involvement during the conference

Additional volunteers could be assigned to assist

Friday Dinner & Keynote Event Planning

  • Work with catering staff to select the menu, ensuring vegetarian and/or vegan entre choice(s), and gluten-free items, and locally sourced food if feasible
  • Work with Coho/US staff to determine quantity for restricted food needs
  • Plan for a cash bar
  • Plan optimal room set up, including reserve table for presenters
  • Coordinate with Coho/US board to plan the program and provide support to keynote Mike Ortosky
  • Manage special requests

Requires pre-conference planning on on-site management on Friday
Additional volunteers could be assigned to support

Networking Manager

  • Engage the hosts for the networking opportunities and gatherings to identify needs and ensure adequate support
  • Provide supplies and materials if needed
  • Help promote these opportunities before and during the conference
  • Encourage collection of emails for folks attending the gatherings and interested in continued networking
  • Create a mechanism to connect and sign up people interested in dining out together on Saturday evening, after the reception, including offering local eatery choices collected in a handout provided by the Durham Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
  • As appropriate, assign volunteers to assist with select networking events

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday afternoon through Sunday noon
Additional volunteers will be assigned to assist

Boxed Lunch Coordinator

  • Work with the Convention Center to select the menu for and determine quantity of boxed lunches for conference registrants for Saturday lunch
  • Ensure availability of rooms for registrants to eat their boxed lunch, and have that information readily available, including choice of networking, viewing video show, attending CRN’s survey presentation, or foregoing boxed lunch in favor of local food trucks at ongoing Durham Farmer’s Market
  • Work with Intensive presenters or their assigned volunteers to determine quantity and select the menu for boxed lunches including (1) project mgmt 101 (2) Sociocracy (3) Cohousing Research Network and (4) embracing the natural aging process
  • Reach out to engage participants registered for ½ day Intensives if they would like to order a boxed lunch and arrange for this

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management from Friday afternoon through Sunday noon
Additional volunteers could be assigned to assist

Community Slide Show & Tell Manager

  • Recruit and engage cohousing communities to participate in a slide show & tell event on Friday and/or Saturday evening
  • Create a plan how best to establish this entertaining opportunity
  • Coordinate with A/V manager and space staff to have rooms set up and available

Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management Friday and Sat evenings

Volunteer Coordinator

  • Recruit local and national volunteers
  • Interview each potential volunteer, and record collected data
  • Connect volunteers to coordinators as appropriate, and track assignments
  • Communicate with coordinators as to needs and the adequacy of their volunteer force
  • Communicate with all volunteers to ensure they are kept informed about the conference and their duties, and motivated
  • Post-conference, thank volunteers, and document assignments

Saturday Reception Coordinator
Requires pre-conference planning and on-site management Saturday afternoon through evening
Additional volunteers will be assigned to assist

Childcare Coordinator
Coho/US is not able to provide childcare or program opportunities for children, but we are open to facilitating an informal sharing of responsibilities and creation of opportunities with parents and others.

Growing Up in Cohousing Video Coordinator
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. We are recruiting a coordinator for this project, being championed by Laura Fitch, Coho/US Board Member, who posted on the coho-l email discussion group on 1/21/15: Do you know young, teen, or grown children in your community who enjoys music, drama, poetry and/or video production? Do you have some awesome video clips from talent shows, speeches, or performances? For instance, we have a clip of a senior in high school delivering a talk about cohousing to his senior class – he won the best speech award for it! We have a teen who is interviewing other kids about growing up in cohousing. We have an adorable clip of a family of young girls singing about cohousing. Contact Laura Fitch lfitch [at] krausfitch [dot] com with questions, u-tube links, contacts, whatever! This could be a fun community project for your kids!

Laura Fitch, AIA, LEED BD+C

Kraus Fitch Architects, Inc.

lfitch [at] krausfitch [dot] com


  • These positions and responsibilities will evolve and grow as we identify and refine needs.
  • “Staff” references do not necessarily translate to paid staff and could refer to volunteers.
  • “on-site management” does not require full-time presence, but does require formal delegation of those duties

Please contact us to share your interest.


2015 Conference Slideshow


Documents from Presenters and Other Conference Resources

Documents from our conference presenters and other conference resources


Attendee lists

If you attended the conference and don't remember the password, plase contact us



Building Skills and Community in South Africa

Building Skills and Community in South Africa

Shown Friday evening at the 2015 National Cohousing Conference


Cohousing Research Network 2015 Presentation


One of the great videos from the conference

Cohousing Video

A great video from the conference, courtesy of Ava Lazar (11) and Mia Lazar (13) who are kids living in cohousing

Click here to view


Photos from the Conference