What is Cohousing?
Cohousing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Each home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically feature a "Common House," which includes a large kitchen and dining area, laundry, and recreational spaces. Shared outdoor space usually includes parking, walkways, open space, and gardens. Neighbors also share resources like tools and lawnmowers.
Households have independent incomes and private lives, but neighbors collaboratively plan and manage community activities and shared spaces. The legal structure is typically an HOA, Condo Association, or Housing Cooperative. Community activities feature regularly-scheduled shared meals, meetings, and workdays. Neighbors gather for parties, games, movies, or other events. Cohousing makes it easy to form clubs, organize child and elder care, and carpool.
Cohousing began in Europe during the 1970s and has spread across the United States, with more than 120 communities in the US. (EcoVillage in Ithaca is our closest mature sister community and is a model of success across our country and internationally.) Residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighborhood, and are consciously committed to living as an engaged community. Physical design supports both enhanced social contact and individual space.