About Us : What is Cohousing?

Cohousing communities are cooperative neighborhoods designed and developed by their residents. Individual, self-sufficient homes are clustered around a Common House with facilities like a dining room, large kitchen, children’s playroom, and library. Parking is typically in lots rather than individual driveways, and homes are linked with pedestrian walkways. Most cohousing communities share 2 or 3 meals a week in the Common House, as well as other community projects and celebrations. Decisions are made by consensus, with a focus on shared resources and respectful communication. Cohousing originated in Denmark more than 20 years ago, and was brought to the U.S. in 1988 by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett of Berkely, California. Cohousing has been called “the 50s neighborhood of the modern day,” with its focus on knowing one’s neighbors and providing a safe and nurturing environment for children. Many residents of cohousing point to the daily contact with their neighbors as providing a connectedness, continuity and quality of life often lacking in today’s busy, disjointed, and isolating lifestyles.