Taken from the alt.housing.notrad FAQ (here HTMLized):
- What is cohousing?
- Cohousing is the name of a type of collaborative housing that
has been developed primarily in Denmark since 1972 where it is
known as bofoellesskaber (English approximation). It is
- Private dwellings
- Typically each dwelling contains a kitchen, living-dining
room and one or more bedrooms and baths, but the layout
of the home is reshuffled to reflect community priorities
- placing most used areas of home so they have a view of
and easy access to the pedestrian street.
- Extensive common facilities
The common building is designed for daily use, to
supplement private living areas. The common building may
include such facilities as a large dining room including
a commercial style kitchen, lounges, meeting rooms,
recreation facilities, library, workshops, childcare.
- Participatory process
Residents organize and participate in the planning and
design process for the development and are responsible as
a group for all final decisions.
- Intentional Neighborhood design
The physical design itself encourages a strong sense of
community (as opposed to isolation) and facilitates
- Complete Resident Management
Residents manage the community making decisions of common
concern at community meetings.
- Pragmatic social goals
Unlike collective and intentional communities, Cohousing
retains the privacy and autonomy of the household
but strengthens the family by creating supportive
social networks and sharing certain daily tasks.
The typical Cohousing community has 20 to 30 single
family homes along a pedestrian street or clustered
around a pedestrian court yard. The individual
homes may resemble townhouses. Cars are kept on the
periphery of the area. The common building is
located centrally, often situated so it is passed
when entering the community. Residents of cohousing
communities often have several optional group meals
in the common building each week.
- What examples of cohousing groups can you point to?
- You can get a list from:
The Cohousing Company
1250 Addison St. #113
Berkeley CA 94702
There's also a list in the Cohousing Resource Guide, described in
the next section.
- Where else can I read about cohousing?
First another electronic resource: there is a cohousing
mailing list. Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the
following line in the BODY of the message (no subject
subscribe COHOUSING-L myname
- The Cohousing Resource Guide is a 50+ page collection of
experiences, advice and learning from several of the
cohousing groups in our region who have built projects.
It includes information about group process and dynamics,
finding a site, some begining design issues to think
about, and a bunch of other info. It also includes
references to books, tapes and cohousing groups and
people. It is designed in a three ring binder format to
be cheap and easy to annually update as new resources and
advice gets shared.
To order a copy send $6 (This covers our printing and
mailing costs) to
22020 East Lost Lake Rd.
Snohomish, WA 98290
- And the book that brought the idea to the US:
Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing
Ourselves, 2nd ed. Kathryn M. McCamant and Charles R.
Durrett and Ellen Hertzman, 1994, Ten Speed Press, Post
Office Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707. $29.95. 22 cm x 24.5
cm (8.5" x 9.5"), 288 pages, Paperback is (aqua) green.
There also a monthly magazine, viz. "Cohousing Magazine,"
which I believe costs $25/year (comes out quarterly I
think). Write to: The CoHousing Network P.O. Box 2584
Berkeley CA 94702
Last updated 21 Jan 97 by max