Co-Housing

 

What is cohousing

Cohousing is a form of intentional neighborhood that balances privacy and home ownership with respect for nature and community living. If you are not already familiar with the concept, a good introduction can be found at cohousing.org. The more detailed Joining a Cohousing Community by Stephen Gold will help you understand the process of creating cohousing. Using Gold’s terminology, our current model is the hybrid developer-driven model (two of our longterm members formed KV Creation LP to purchase and develop the property on our behalf) and we are, as of mid-2011, poised to enter the “Building” stage.

How Cohousing is Good for Parents

  • You know who your kids’ playmates are.
  • You and your family can sit down to a nutritious home-cooked meal several nights a week at the common house—no cooking, no dirty dishes. (In exchange, you will be on cook or cleanup duty a couple of times a month.)
  • Babysitting exchanges are easy to arrange with other families so close by.
  • New parents can draw on the wisdom and skills of experienced parents.
  • There will be lots and lots of hand-me-downs!
  • You will have many opportunities to participate in time- and money-saving activities, from bulk grocery shopping to car-sharing, limited only by your and your neighbors’ imagination.

How Cohousing is Good for Kids

    • Lots of safe space to explore and play in.
    • Other kids to play with. Cohousing kids look out for each other; older kids help the younger ones.
    • Learning by doing. There are always projects going on in cohousing that kids can learn and help with: cooking, reading and writing, computer skills, gardening, building and repair . . .
    • Always having someone around to tend to a skinned knee or extract a splinter.
    • Learning how to be considerate of others while sticking up for yourself, how to disagree without fighting, how to find a third answer to “my way or your way.”

How Cohousing is Good for Seniors

  • On a fixed budget? Cohousing provides ample opportunities for cutting daily living costs by sharing with others: Buying in bulk, having one subscription to newspapers and magazines, not having to buy a pack of six batteries when you only need one. Organize that!
  • Like to putter? Puttering is a valued contribution to the community – noticing that a window is cracked, that a dog is out, that a branch needs pruning – these are ways to keep the common areas beautiful and safe.
  • Not so confident anymore clambering up that stepladder to change a lightbulb? No longer able to read the microscopic warning on a drug label? Favors are easy to give and receive when help is just outside your front door.
  • Elders are an enormous resource for first-time parents. Kids not your thing? How about music? Organize a potluck orchestra or a monthly singalong. Like to garden? You’ll find many willing collaborators. Or just hang out and enjoy the conversation on the patio or in the lounge.

How Cohousing is Good for Singles

  • Not always having to drive clear across town for entertainment or to have dinner with friends.
  • The peace of mind of being amidst a bunch of neighbors who look out for each other.
  • The opportunity to be an honorary aunt or uncle to the kids in the community.
  • Supplementing your independence with knowing there will be someone to turn to if you need a trip to the emergency room.
  • Choosing your own best balance between privacy and community.

Permaculture/cohousing

In your modern American life, has your individual privacy been taken to an extreme leaving you cut off and distanced from your neighbors and nature? Does your environment enhance your discovery of beauty in unexpected ways?

Permaculture/cohousing offers a resilient alternative to being cooped up in your house and isolated in your own neighborhood. With open space and gardens connected by trails, the Kaleidoscope Village site provides a territory for folks of all ages to explore and enjoy nature.  Permaculture in many ways is simply informed, common sense design of human environments and as such is a basic element of Kaleidoscope Village lifestyles—thus permaculture/cohousing describes an environment of abundant natural, cultivated, landscaped, built, and cultural resources useful to beautiful, functional and sustainable living. Kaleidoscope Village will have 37 homes (cohousing site plans typically show 12–48 clustered homes) whose residents own private homes complete with full kitchen, living area(s), bedroom(s), bathroom(s) and washer/dryer connections. Private porches, patios, and balconies provide transition areas to shared resources and many common facilities including a “common house” that provides facilities for group dining, recreation, childcare, private events, community events, cooking, laundry, exercise, sending and receiving mail and packages, guest rooms for overnight visitors, etcetera. The common house is centered among the homes to facilitate daily use.

  1. Natalia Goudvis

    I live in a cohousing community too.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Where is your community?

  3. ZombieMomma91011

    So incredible. I am fascinated with co-housing for my growing family. This
    was very enlightening.

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