National cohousing conf highlights, dinner, story circles+ on May 25 | Register now!

Several Twin Cities Cohousing Network members are attending the national CohousingUSA conference in Nashville. Come hear them share what they saw and experienced. The kitchen crew will be whipping up a spring meal, and registration is open. You can sign up here if you plan to attend.

It helps our team of volunteers when you register and pay in advance. That way, the cooking team knows how much food to buy and prepare. Here is the registration link.

We encourage you to share this information with a friend or relative who is exploring housing alternatives, and to share our Facebook event with your networks.

Doors open at 5 pm for setup and conversation; dinner runs from 6-6:45 pm and then the program starts. If you have time to volunteer to cook or clean up, please indicate this on the appropriate section of the registration form.

By the way, if you’re going to the national conference, too, we hope you’ll bring a story to share, too.

Save the date – May 25th, in the evening

For the next Twin Cities Cohousing Network gathering, our star kitchen crew will cook another group meal, cohousing style. Our meal will again be followed by an update from the local cohousing core groups, other announcements, and then a story circle session at each table.

Details and registration will be available soon. Please check back, and sign up for the monthly TCCN News e-newsletter to be informed about this and other events.

Baked-potato bar, story circles, core group updates & more

Registration is now open for the next TCCN evening meal + program that will be occurring March 30th.

Cohousing is more than a form of housing. It’s about people committing to being mutually supportive within a cohousing community. Learn more at the next meal + program. Sign up for the March 30th event here.

Twin Cities Cohousing Network offers these meal + program events to give you a hint of what it might be like to live in cohousing. Meet others interested in the cohousing concept. Build shared history with folks who could become your future cohousing neighbors.

Thursday, March 30, 2017. Doors open for setup at 5:30 pm. Dinner starts at 6 pm.

Further details about the evening’s schedule, with the registration and payment forms, are at this link.

 

Community + Privacy = Cohousing

Can we disrupt the isolation of modern life with a newer form? The word “cohousing” is translated from the Danish, where these clustered, intentional mini-communities are fairly common (and in fact are encouraged by government policies in Denmark).

What defines cohousing? There are some aspects that are bricks-and-mortar: each household owns its own private home–sometimes a detached house, more often a townhome or condo unit–and a share in the yard/gardens as well as a building for optional group meals and other activities, the “common house”.

It is the social aspects that disrupt our society’s typical way of life. People who live in cohousing do so with a commitment to building community among their neighbors, sharing some equipment (such as lawnmowers and snowblowers) that gets used infrequently, and helping each other.

Save the date: Thurs., Mar. 30 in the evening

For the next Twin Cities Cohousing Network gathering, our star kitchen crew will cook another group meal, cohousing style. Our meal will again be followed by an update from the local cohousing core groups, other announcements, and then a story circle session at each table.

Details and registration will be available soon. Please check back, and sign up for the monthly TCCN News e-newsletter to be informed about this and other events.

 

Housing density and housing-unit cost

How Much Land is Needed to Develop a Cohousing Community?

by Lynn Englund

When I first became interested in cohousing, one of the questions I had was: how much land would a cohousing group need to purchase in order to develop their community? I’ve learned that it depends on several factors, including the values and lifestyle that a cohousing community desires, the amount of money the group can pull together, and the zoning regulations of the municipality.

For example, a community that values extensive green space and gardens probably will seek more land than a community that values living Continue reading “Housing density and housing-unit cost”

Getting It Built workshop offered by Chuck Durrett, et. al.

When and how does a core group start figuring out the location of their future community?

A fast-track local group is forming to bring experienced cohousing architect Chuck Durrett and his associates to the Twin Cities for an intensive weekend-long “Getting It Built” workshop.

Anyone who is interested in being involved in creating a cohousing community sooner rather than later is encouraged to express interest by emailing the address below. Details will be provided to you. The goal of the workshop: to vet and explore the possibilities of a particular site for a cohousing community. Tentative dates for the workshop are Mar. 4-5, 2017.

If you are interested, you MUST email John Kalmon john@jpkalmon.com to get all the details and receive updates. Include your name, phone number and comments/questions.

The information you provide to John will only be shared with Durrett, The Cohousing Company associates, and the other individuals who sign up.

Please share this information with others who might be interested in the workshop.

Next community meal + program | Feb. 2nd

For the next Twin Cities Cohousing Network gathering, our star kitchen crew will cook another group meal, cohousing style. Our meal will again be followed by an update from the local cohousing core groups, other announcements, and then a story circle session at each table.

For details and to register, click here.

Please note that registration and payment in advance is strongly encouraged so that the cooks know their budget and how many to plan for. Cost covers food and a share of the room rental. There is a maximum charge for families to make it easier to bring your children.

Also, if you’d possibly like to join the cooks for chopping, baking, and other kitchen tasks, and are able to arrive around 4 pm, please contact Becca to get the details.

ecbrackett [at] cohousing [dot] org

Community meal + program Dec. 1st | we cook for you

For the next Twin Cities Cohousing Network gathering, our star kitchen crew has cooked up a menu for a group meal, cohousing style.

For details and to register, click here.

Please note that payment in advance is strongly encouraged so that the cooks know their budget and how many to plan for. Cost covers food and a share of the room rental. There is a maximum charge for families to make it easier to bring your children.

Also, the cooks could use one or two more people who enjoy chopping vegetables, baking, and other kitchen tasks, and are able to arrive around 4 pm. If that sounds fun and you’re available to help, please contact Becca to get the details.

ecbrackett [at] cohousing [dot] org

people in a large room listen to a speaker
At the Oct 20th cohousing potluck. Photo: Lynn Englund

Potluck next step after the Durrett talk

by John Kalmon

We had a great turnout for the presentation on cohousing by Charles Durrett, who took us through a verbal tour of many cohousing communities, accompanied by great photos and punctuated with stories that were engaging and enlightening. He described how cohousing improves peoples’ lives by bringing a new level of social connection into their day-to-day activities.

As an example, Durrett recalled an elderly woman who moved from the home closest to the parking area to the furthest away because it improved her relationship with her neighbors, which she described as more important than her relationship with her car.

The idea of resource sharing was explained—not only lawn mowers and common-house amenities, but more importantly the opportunity to share one’s time, knowledge or emotional support. All this can and does happen easily because of the arrangement and design of the structures, and because the people who have chosen to live in cohousing recognize that their social well-being and connections are among their highest priorities.

durrett_talk_lynns_photo_fb_sept2016_even_smaller

Durrett spoke of “social tax” as well, the work a community needs to put in to assure long-term success. This needs to be addressed early in the formation of a core group by establishing their goals and values, and learning how to make decisions as a group, often by some form of consensus. Stories of specific challenges faced by groups and how they overcame them were very informative.

The audience asked good questions. Stimulating conversation continued among attendees long after the presentation, and many pitched in without hesitation to stack the chairs!

To learn more about what is happening locally in cohousing, please continue to check our website and sign up to receive TCCN News, our e-newsletter, which will bring you all the latest news and events. We hope to see you at our next event on October 20th.