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What is Cohousing?

Cohousing is a community-based housing model that started in Denmark and Holland in the 1970s as a way to create -- intentionally -- a close-knit neighborhood. It was brought to the United States in the late 1980s by California architects, Charles Durrett and Katie McCamant, who have since designed and/or helped develop dozens of projects in North America.  

Cohousing neighborhoods consist of privately-owned houses clustered around shared green space.  A large common house has amenities – most important is a large kitchen and dining room where residents can share meals, activities, and celebrations. Smaller rooms have space for the activities residents want – a workshop, exercise room, or craft room.

These common spaces draw residents together daily. Life in cohousing brings people together. It’s a neighborhood where people know and care about each other.


Cohousing residents have as much privacy as they want in their own homes, and as much community as they want, just by walking out their front door.

Over 300 cohousing neighborhoods have been established in North America, and more are being developed.


Senior cohousing communities are designed to meet the physical and social needs of older adults. Residents are at the same place in life’s journey and will be there for each other as they age and need help. There are currently 16 such communities, with about a dozen in development. 


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