What is Cohousing?
"Traditional forms of housing no longer address the needs of many people. Things that people once took for granted -- family, community, a sense of belonging -- must now be actively sought out. Cohousing re-establishes many of the advantages of traditional villages within the context of modern life." -- McCamant & Durrett
What makes Delaware Street Commons a cohousing community?
We are a self-organized community. We are a group of households who have come together around the idea of intentional community. We planned our neighborhood using consensus decision-making, a model that carries through to community self-management.
We are inter-generational. Like most cohousing communities, we are a mix of singles, couples, families with children, and elders.
Our neighborhood is designed for interacting. Our homes are clustered, linked by pedestrian walkways that connect with the common house. We share several evening meals a week in this building. Parking is located on the periphery. Our homes are individually owned by a condominium arrangement.
What do we like about living in cohousing?
Residents benefit from cohousing in many ways, including:
Raising children. Cohousing is an ideal way to raise children with support from others. Children have safe and appropriate play facilities and playmates within the community.
Opportunities for social interaction. Cohousing offers greater opportunities for socialization without sacrificing privacy.
Safety. In a neighborhood where everyone knows you, safety and security are greatly enhanced.
Saving money and time. Residents have the option of sharing resources and chores, optional resident-cooked meals, bulk buying, carpooling, shared child care, trading goods and services, and less travel because of on-site activities.
Intergenerational diversity. Living in a community in which a range of age groups are represented provides rich experiences for young and old alike.
Share facilities and resources. Cohousing communities provide access to more facilities than residents could have on their own. Gardens, play areas, workshops, darkrooms, craft rooms, lounges, and kitchen and dining facilities are often part of cohousing common facilities.
Resident participation. Consensus decision-making empowers all residents. Everyone's point of view must be heard and considered in planning and managing the community.
Contribution. Cohousing communities provide the opportunity for all to share skills and talents such as music, fixing bikes, cooking, and gardening with other members of the community.
If you would like to read more about the cohousing experience, take a look at these books. You can borrow a copy of any of these from Delaware Street Commons (just ask!) or you can order them through the fantastic folks at the Fellowship for Intentional Community Bookstore. Click on the links to get to their site; you might also want to look at all of the great information they have about living in community!
|Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities by Kathryn McCamant and
Charles Durrett (2011) by McCamant & Durrett. If there is a book that is
close to a 'bible' of cohousing, this is probably the one. DSC has several copies, and strongly encourages
members to purchase this book.
Sustainable Community: Learning from the Cohousing Model. This book, published in 2005, features successful examples of cohousing as a sustainable lifestyle. World-wide in its focus and illustrated with the author's photographs, S is a source of knowledge for those wanting live their lives in a more ecological, less isolated way.
|The Cohousing Handbook by Chris ScottHanson offers a wealth of information and practical hints on how to build a cohousing community. Every element that goes into the creation of such a project, including group process, design considerations, finance and budgets, land acquisition, permits, construction, and professional resources, is covered thoroughly. The authors are pioneers in the development of cohousing in North America and have an enormous amount of experience that makes their realistic advice invaluable. In addition to development support, they do an excellent job of conveying the environmental and social benefits of cohousing. Chris ScottHanson led Delaware Street Commons’ site selection committee and acted as project manager for several years early in the project.|
|Building United Judgment A Handbook for Consensus Decision Making edited by Center for Conflict Resolution Re-published by the Fellowship for Intentional Community. Delaware Street Commons makes decisions using consensus in order to maximize cooperation and participation of all group members. Consensus brings together the needs, resources, and ideas of every group member by means of a supportive, creative structure. We recommend this book to all who are considering membership and to those who want to learn the nuts and bolts of consensus decision|