Free Cohousing Slideshow in Durham

TwitterThe 2015 National Cohousing Conference in Durham, NC is just around the corner!



If you’re arriving early and are looking for a kickoff-worthy start to the Conference, consider attending a free presentation on the History of Cohousing with CoHousing Solutions’ Katie McCamant and Chuck Durrett of The Cohousing Company.

WHEN: Thursday, May 28th at 7pm

WHERE: Main Durham Library (300 N. Roxboro Street)

WHO: Katie McCamant & Chuck Durrett, award-winning California architects credited with introducing cohousing to the U.S. through their seminal book Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves and more recently, Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities. Durrett is also author of The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living.

WHAT: The presenters will share photos and stories from their over 30 years of cohousing experience, having been cohousing residents themselves since 1992. Come learn the origins of what, as we know, has become a thriving nationwide network of 135 communities (and growing!) located all across the United States.


Have Questions About the 500 Communities Program?

Over the last 3 months of coast-to-coast webinar calls we’ve released exciting Program updates, discussed curriculum/costs/credentials with you and received a handful of resumes for this First Year Intensive of the 500 Communities Program.

Before the National Cohousing Conference arrives – with it, the chance to meet some of you in person – we’re offering one last chance to join a 500 Communities discussion with Katie.

If you’ve been considering the Program but want clarification, have questions, or are experiencing some trepidation about whether 500 Communities is a good fit for you, then this May 12th call is for you!

Just click below to join. 

May 12

Cohousing Conference Press Release: Feel Free to Share!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, April 27, 2015

Contact: Diana Sullivan, Board Member;; 615-481-5036 or
Alice Alexander, Executive Director;; 919-824-4799


National Cohousing Conference Examines The Next Generation of Environmental and Socially Sustainable Neighborhoods

Durham, NC—The Cohousing Association of the US (Coho/US) will host the National Cohousing Conference, May 29-31, 2015 at the Durham Convention Center.

Cohousing communities are part of the new cooperative economy and are predicted to expand rapidly in the next few decades as individuals and families seek to live more sustainably, and in community with neighbors. Since the first cohousing communities were completed in the U.S. in the early 1990’s, more than 140 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 environmental and socially sustainable neighborhoods.

The National Cohousing Conference is expected to draw almost 400 architects, consultants, residents of existing communities, and aspiring members building new communities. Research conducted in 2011 confirmed anecdotal evidence that cohousing is good for children, parents, singles, seniors, the neighborhoods around them, and the environment. The Conference will address how to advance the movement within a new context. Demographics are changing rapidly with boomers reaching retirement and young adults less inclined or able to enter the home ownership market – all within an ominous backdrop of climate change and economic uncertainty. There is clearly an increasing demand for senior cohousing for the aging boomers. New cohousing communities are stretching in innovative ways to grow food, reduce energy use, include rentals and group residences, squeeze into tight urban sites, and capitalize on community resources. There have even been interesting spin-offs in affordable and supportive housing projects across the country that physically look and act like cohousing – evidence that others have learned and benefited from the cohousing movement’s pioneering work.

Trends in New Agrarianism and New Urbanism will be presented by keynote speaker Mike Ortosky, landscape architect and soil scientist with Earthwise Company. “Building cohousing is about sustainable development” says Ortosky, an advocate for small scale housing and local food systems.

Cohousing communities combine the advantages of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living, including shared common facilities and ongoing connections with neighbors. These intentional neighborhoods, created and managed by residents, offer an innovative solution to today’s environmental and social challenges.

The Cohousing Associcohous_logo2_0_0ation of the U.S. advances cohousing by assisting communities through a robust network of resources and access to technical assistance; and educating the public about the benefits of cohousing, from resource conservation and sustainability to resilient communities and healthy families.

Time for a Toast for Fair Oaks EcoHousing!

I (Jenny) had the pleasure last night of witnessing the joyful celebration after Fair Oaks EcoHousing received a unanimous (4-0) vote from the Sacramento County Planning Commission to approve all their project requests for development! This decision came on the heels of a number of successes for this 11-household strong cohousing group. In September, Fair Oaks EcoHousing received unanimous approval from both the Fair Oaks Planning and Advisory Council and Sacramento County Design Review Advisory Committee.

At the meeting, CoHoI Support FOusing Solutions’ Katie McCamant gave the project overview presentation to the commission and four future residents spoke of their vision and excitement for the project to come to fruition. Last night’s unanimous vote starts a new stage of blooming for this cohousing group, and affirms the project’s fit for this community. The 4 Planning Commissioners granted their decision with the “highest praise” for cohousing as a community-focused model and most especially, as a housing type well suited to Sacramento County’s goal of building sustainable, safe and environmentally-friendly neighborhoods.

Construction on the cohousing site at Fair Oaks Boulevard & New York Avenue will begin early next year, with estimated early 2017 move-in. The community’s land is located close to Fair Oaks Village, Rudolf Steiner College, and the picturesque American River Bike Path (celebrated by the generous 60 bike parking spaces outlined in the site plan); with Fair Oaks only 18 miles east of downtown Sacramento.

Fair Oaks EcoHousing invites visitors to sign up for monthly site tours, and has an active Facebook page. Stop by and say hello! & Facebook page



Water Conservation in Cohousing

It’s safe to say that water is on the minds of most Californians. With our state facing a historic four-year drought, the effects ripple far beyond our own cities, dinner plates and favorite swimming holes. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the consequences.

Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown issued California’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions, calling for a 25% reduction in use. This mandate focuses on urban use; installing drought-tolerant landscaping, creating rebates for efficient appliances, stricter standards for new developments, etc. “The water savings are expected to amount to 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months.” Now those are some big numbers.

Here in the Sierra Foothills at Nevada City Cohousing, residents can measure their water usage and conservation at a community level. CoHousing Solutions’ President Katie McCamant, who was the developer and lives there herself, relayed her experience with water mindfulness at a recent community meeting.

Reviewed during the meeting, water meter data shows that Nevada City Cohousing residents use only half the water of the average California household. Yet even with that great news – a true community success story – a good portion of the meeting was spent brainstorming additional ways to conserve water. “Living in community allows for these dialogues,” she says.

Feeding off each others’ concerns and ideas leads to innovative solutions, a collective consciousness that inspires even bolder actions. Take, for example, the low-flow showerheads at Nevada City Cohousing. Though already installed as the standard, a community member brought an even lower flow model he’d found to the group. It was agreed he’d install it in the community pool shower for everyone to test out and decide about adoption from there.

As we face increasing resource challenges, it’s comforting to see the consequences of living mindfully in community. We’ll raise a water glass (and drink every drop) to that!

Notice Our New Name?

Kathryn McCamant is pleased to announce her new consulting firm, CoHousing Solutions. This firm provides development consulting for cohousing neighborhoods and other types of collaborative developments and will officially launch the 500 Communities Program at the May 2015 National Cohousing Conference.

“I want to see more people able to live in cohousing and feel I can do that best by providing development consulting and training for more communities with this new company.”

CoHousing Partners, co-owned by Kathryn McCamant and Jim Leach, will continue as a development company. CoHousing Solutions is pleased to continue working with Jim Leach of CoHousing Partners and Wonderland Hill Development Company as a senior adviser and consultant.

We’re in the process of updating our website, thanks for your patience. We’re excited to tell you more about the changes happening here at the office. Please keep checking back for updates!


Can Boomers Make Cohousing Mainstream?

Can Boomers Make Cohousing Mainstream?

By Chris Bentley on 1/20/15

When architects Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett made their first pilgrimage to Denmark in the early 1980s, they were out to learn whatever they could. What they brought back would earn them a reputation as the mother and father of cohousing in the U.S.

They visited communities like Copenhagen’s Trudeslund (where they would later live), noting the common spaces that linked small clusters of private residences with public life. Kids ran along car-free paths; families gathered around meals in a common house or stayed in their private homes as they pleased.citylab

“I think the thing that really impressed us,” says McCamant, “is how normal it is. It seems [there] like the single-family house world is the strange one. That still is what baffles me, that people think it’s some radical thing.”

CONTINUE READING…Can Boomers Make Cohousing Mainstream

The 500 Communities Program

Imagine a world where cohousing becomes the new normal. Imagine every town of more than 50,000 people has at least one senior cohousing community and one intergenerational community. Imagine 500 communities created in the next five to ten years in the United States alone. If this is to become a reality, many people with many talents must become involved in creating communities.

If you believe in the power of community,
And you have an entrepreneurial spirit,
And the skills to contribute to developing communities,
And are ready for a challenging career that aligns with your passions…
Our new 500 Communities Program may be for you!

CoHousing Partners is developing a training program for passionate entrepreneurs who want to devote themselves to the goal of building the next 500 communities while working collaboratively, supporting each other and making a good living.

Over the last three decades, CoHousing Partners President Katie McCamant has consulted on, designed or developed dozens of cohousing communities. Having worked with small and large, urban and rural, developer driven and group developed communities, she learned the keys to building strong, environmentally and financially sustainable communities. Now Katie is ready to formalize what she has been doing for years informally: train other collaborators to grow the ability of CoHousing Partners to meet the expanding need for professional support in creating new communities.

We expect to formally launch the 500 Communities Program at the National Cohousing Conference in May 2015, and look forward to sharing more details with you. To learn more over the coming months, sign up here to get the latest updates. We welcome your feedback.

Want to learn how you can become an integral part of initiating the next great wave of cohousing communities?

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Ask a Cohousing Resident Interviews

We’re excited to share this new facet of our business’s educational features with you. Click below or view our Q&A style video series on our Youtube Channel. These candid interviews with the experts on living, growing and aging in cohousing could provide a way to explain cohousing to family, friends or those interested in joining your community. Interviewees are residents at Wolf Creek Lodge in Grass Valley, CA.



Exciting Progress for PDX Commons!

The PDX Commons group in Portland, OR has had a number of successes just within the past month and a half. This senior cohousing group is chugging ahead full steam, so if you’re interested in joining this community, now’s the time to look into membership. They’re well on their way to breaking ground!

1) They’ve chosen their architects: Works Partnership Architecture
2) They’ve settled on a site for their cohousing community:
   We have settled on a vacant site on SE Belmont east of Cesar Chavez Blvd and have secured an agreement with the owner. It’s right on the city’s #15 bus line, a few blocks from the thriving Hawthorne Business District which houses New Seasons, Fred Meyer, Bagdad Theater, Powell’s Books, Pastaworks and numerous restaurants. It’s within falling distance of the city’s iconic English pub, Horse Brass. It’s a short walk to Laurelhurst Park or a trip up to Mt. Tabor Park. Providence Hospital is 6 minutes, as is the Max light rail and I-84. We are waiting to announce the exact address until details of the transaction are completed.
3) The group participated in a Nitty Gritty Workshop with CoHousing Partners’ Katie McCamant to discuss initial site design, planning and funding through a “massing” style workshop approach
4) They adopted a governance model
5) They reached an agreement with their developer, Urban Development + Partners to begin planning the units

Great work PDX!