Cohousing has existed in Europe for over twenty years. Recently, cohousing has crossed the Atlantic and as many as 150 cohousing communities have been built or are being planned in the U.S., including fourteen in Massachusetts. Most cohousing communities share common features:
- Cohousing communities are planned and run by residents who make decisions together, usually by consensus.
- A balance of common areas and private housing is designed to encourage social interaction while respecting privacy.
- Shared meals are available in the common house 3 to 5 times a week.
- Each household lives in its own fully-equipped house or apartment. Joint planning results in shared resources and economies of scale.
For a fascinating New York Times article and slideshow about a cohousing group getting started in Brooklyn, check out his link.
If you are new to the idea of cohousing, and want to find out more, we recommend exploring the Cohousing Network web pages at http://www.cohousing.org/.
You can read about cohousing in the book, Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, by Kathryn McCamant, Charles Durrett, and Ellen Hertzman (Habitat/Ten Speed Press, 1994). You can also become a member of Cohousing.org and get a free subscription to the quarterly CoHousing Journal of The CoHousing Network, P.O. Box 2584, Berkeley, CA 94702.
There are several other cohousing groups in the Boston area, including:
- New View Cohousing - a completed community in Acton
- Jamaica Plain Cohousing - a completed community in Jamaica Plain
- Cornerstone Village Cohousing - a completed community quite near us in Cambridge
- Alchemy Farm - an existing community in Falmouth, on Cape Cod
- Mosaic Commons Cohousing—part of Sawyer Hill Ecovillage, a completed community in Berlin (MetroWest)—homes still available