Cohousing communities are highly collaborative neighborhoods, typically designed and developed from the ground up by the people who live there. A strong sense of community is their raison d'être. The physical design facilitates that intention whilst allowing members privacy, autonomy and home ownership (some communities do offer rental units). They take the concept of a pocket neighborhood a few steps further by adding extensive common spaces as well.
Communities typically use a condominium-style legal structure (although some other ownership models may be used). Members purchase their home and a share in the common spaces. A reserve fund is kept for maintenance and repairs etc.
The homes (be they single, detached houses, apartments, or anything in between) are private and fully functional (kitchen, bathroom(s), bedroom(s), living area), but foster ongoing community engagement through certain strategic design principles (such as peripheral parking, porches, common walkways and so on). The main feature of the common space is the 'common house'. This contains a community kitchen with a dining/meeting room, workshop, guest rooms, child play areas and just about anything else that the community decides it would like to have as a shared space (e.g. gym/yoga studio, music practice room, arts and crafts studio ... the list is endless).
Community meals may be routinely scheduled in the common house along with many other events, however, it's all up to the members to decide and agree on when and how they wish to participate. Decisions about the ongoing life of the community are made by a consensus or sociocratic methodology. Please visit our Events page for upcoming Information sessions in which you can learn more about our group and how to become a member.