CohousingCohousing is an intentional movement of private homes clustered around shared space that the community shares. Each attached or single family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically feature a common house, much like a club house, which may include a large kitchen and dining area, laundry, and recreational spaces that the community shares. Shared outdoor space may include parking, walkways, open space, and gardens. Neighbors also share resources like tools and lawn mowers for property upkeep.

Each household has their independent income and private life, but neighbors collaboratively plan and manage community activities, holidays, and shared spaces.

The legal structure is typically that of an an HOA, Condo Association, or Housing Cooperative. Community activities feature regularly-scheduled shared meals, meetings, and workdays where the communuty comes together to better their surroundings. Neighbors gather for parties, games, movies, or other events. Cohousing makes it easy to form clubs, organize child and elder care, and carpool.

Common Characteristics

Relationships

  • Neighbors commit to being part of a community for everyone’s mutual benefit.
  • Cohousing cultivates a culture of sharing and caring for each person involved.  
  • Design features and neighborhood size (typically 20-40 homes) promote frequent interaction and close relationships with neighbors.

Privacy and Community

  • Cohousing neighborhoods are designed for privacy as well as community.
  • Residents balance privacy and community by choosing their own level of engagement.

 

Participation

  • Decision making is participatory and often based on a consensus of the whole .
  • Self-management empowers residents, builds community, and saves money.

Shared Values

  • Cohousing communities support residents in actualizing shared values.
  • Cohousing communities typically adopt green approaches to living, in order to save money, and the environment.