It Takes a Village: Cohousing Communities

January 22, 2018
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According to the Cohousing Association of the United States, there are 165 cohousing communities nationwide, with another 140 in the planning stages; other experts say cohousing's momentum is growing.

The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. noted the recent “boom in cohousing communities nationwide” in a current exhibition. Recent poll data from the Cohousing Research Network says that 62 percent of respondents said that sale prices of cohousing units in their communities have been rising. Additionally, cohousing construction is seen as a good investment, Richard Jenkens, director of social impact initiatives at the National Cooperative Bank, a cohousing lender, told The New York Times.

Cohousing can be traced to Copenhagen, where the first “living communities,” or bofaellesskaber, opened in 1970. A decade later two architecture students, Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant, on a year abroad at the University of Copenhagen noticed one complex that stood out. “People in this one development were always out there talking to each other ... There were children running from house to house, and people coming and going to this building, the common house, where nobody lived and apparently everybody lived,” he recalled.

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