Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods. Cohousing residents are consciously committed to living as a community. The physical design encourages both social contact and individual space. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to common facilities such as--in the case of Aria--a large kitchen and dining room, outdoor patios, washer and dryer, and TV/living room.
Common Characteristics of Cohousing:
Neighbors commit to being part of a community for everyone’s mutual benefit.
Cohousing cultivates a culture of sharing and caring.
Design features and neighborhood size (typically 20-40 homes) promote frequent interaction and close relationships.
Balancing Privacy and Community
Cohousing neighborhoods are designed for privacy as well as community.
Residents balance privacy and community by choosing their own level of engagement.
Decision making is participatory and often based on consensus.
Self-management empowers residents, builds community, and saves money.
Cohousing communities support residents in actualizing shared values.
Cohousing communities typically adopt green approaches to living.
The Fellowship for Intentional Communities (FIC) nurtures connections and cooperation among communitarian and their friends. The FIC is best known as the publisher of the Communities Directory and Communities Magazine.
The Northwest Intentional Communities Association (NICA) formed in 1992 with active involvement from Songaia members. This group helps pull together many different Northwest intentional communities and is a great resource for communities and people who seek community life.