Top 10 Things To Do To Get Started In Cohousing!

READY Ready to startThe biggest question people have at the beginning of their cohousing adventure is:  how do I get started?

“It’s always best to start at the beginning,” so advises Glenda, the Good Witch, in The Wizard of Oz.  Indeed, that is where we will start.

The following is one of many “Top 10 Lists” designed to help people in various stages of thinking about cohousing, forming, building or living in cohousing. Are just beginning to nose around cohousing?  This list is for you!  It contains many recommendations for free or low cost avenues you can pursue to inform your thinking and decision-making about living in cohousing.  You can get your toes seriously soaked without huge monetary or time commitments!


Gotta Get Ready:  Top 10 Things To Do in
 Advance of Forming Your Cohousing Group

1.    Read the book Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities 3rd edition of the original book published by Kathryn
McCamant and Charles Durrett. This is the “bible” of the movement and
contains all the basics.  Having everyone in the group read it will put
everyone “on the same page” during discussions. The 3rd edition contains
many American examples of cohousing as well as extensive writings on

2.    Developing Sustainable Communities for Today’s Housing Market is a book and DVD produced by Mid Atlantic Cohousing.  The top three developers of cohousing in the U.S. are interviewed in the book. It’s
complete with budgets.  Watch a trailer of the video.

3.    Check out The Cohousing Association of the United States (CohoUs) website.  This national non-profit has many FREE  resources available.  There are many highly experienced members of this association with much wisdom to share.  It’s an invaluable tool for “networking” with other groups nationally.  There are  often bus tours offered by CohoUS.  Free newsletter, too!

4 .    While you’re on line … check out The Mid Atlantic Cohousing website. This regional non-profit, comprised of 13  regional coho communities and two businesses, has a mission of informing and educating the public about cohousing.  It also educates its members about the art of living in community through its website,  local workshops, bus tour, etc. Network with local groups. Once you get a group — Join!  The members are eager to help you build your
cohousing dream!

5.    Join and participate in The Cohousing-L, an electronic mail list maintained by a volunteer.  This list is available to anyone without charge.  People in all different stages of cohousing communities — from living in a coho community to thinking about it — participate on the list via email.  People ask questions about developing a coho community…and get back lots of answers from people w/ experience! Join!

6.    Youtube contains an amazing number of videos uploaded to the
site by communities throughout the world.   Spend just one hour
browsing Youtube videos under the keyword:  cohousing.  You will
be delighted at the information you can glean about what it’s like
to live in this kind of neighborhood.  It will sharpen your vision of
your community!

7.    In the Washington, DC area all events about cohousing are
announced on the local Washington DC Area Meetup.  Almost 600 local folks subscribe. It’s easy to sign up.  If anything is going on in cohousing you will
be “in the know!”  Join!  It’s FREE!

8.    Ask to attend the meetings and other events of established cohousing in the area. Cohousing folks are delighted to share what they have learned about creating and living in their community.  You can find links and contacts for member communities on the Mid Atlantic Cohousing website.

9.    Plan a field trip to a built community.  It’s inspiring.  It will bring your vision alive!

10.    Go on a cohousing bus tour! These are offered by CohoUS, Mid Atlantic      Cohousing and by other groups organizing cohousing.  Announcements are posted on all the websites listed above as well as the Cohousing-L.


The”Top 10 Lists” form a kind of “yellow brick road” for pointing the way to or staying on the path towards the successful completion of your community.  We even have lists for what to do once you’re living in your new home! The lists were originally compiled for The Cohousing Network, later updated by Cohousing Collaborative, LLC and now revised and updated for Mid Atlantic Cohousing.  Look for more lists!  Add suggestions!  Compile your own lists and share them with all of us!  All rights reserved 1998-present but you may use them with attribution to Mid Atlantic Cohousing.

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Turn Your Radio On …to the Coho Radio Network!

Turn your radio on!

Turn your radio on!

Ok.  It’s not a for REAL radio network … but the frequency with which cohousers are being interviewed on the radio makes it seem so!

Check out these two interviews.

Last January, Rick Gravock, Minnesota’s Monterey Cohousing, was interviewed by AM950 radio.

Rick said he was interviewed about cohousing in general and Monterey Cohousing in particular.  “It was an enjoyable time,” said Rick.

"Going Home With Tony" show features cohousing!

“Going Home With Tony” show features cohousing!

More recently in early June, Blog Talk Radio Show host, Tony Scimeca interviewed Jerry McIntire, Stone’s Throw Eco Village and Alice Alexander, Executive Director CohoUS and Durham Central Park Cohousing.  Jerry is well known to those who follow The Cohousing-L email list serv.  You can listen to their radio interview right now!


Stay tuned for more radio interviews — we’ll post them as they become available.  Send us news of your radio fame!  Email a link to your radio segment to:  [email protected]   Include info on the folks being interviewed along with links to websites.



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“Within Reach” Documentary Film, Discussion and Potluck

Two People, Two Bikes, 6,500 miles.

Two People, Two Bikes, 6,500 miles.

Within Reach — Journey to Find Sustainable Community


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21st at 5:00 p.m.

Common House

Takoma Village Cohousing

6827 4th Street NW; Washington, DC

2 BLOCKS from Takoma Metro Station – RED Line

Mandy and Ryan gave up everything except what would fit on their bikes riding 6,500 miles across the USA looking for sustainable communities. They explored ecovillages, cohousing communities, co-op houses.

The movie will be followed by discussion and a potluck dinner.

This is an opportunity for you to meet a cohousing group aspiring to build a local community.

We hope to see you on February 21st 5:00 p.m.

Seating is LIMITED – Please RSVPby Thursday Feb. 19th to

[email protected]


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