best size for Cohousing Community
From: Judy Baxter (
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 13:30:47 -0600 (MDT)
Greetings from Monterey Cohousing (no, Minneapolis, not California)

I tend to agree (more or less) with Zev and others, 20-25 is optimal, but other
factors may intervene.   

We have 15 households (8 coop apt-style homes in the rehabbed building, plus
building 7 of 15 new townhomes because if we'd waited for buyers for more, we
would have lost many of the original townhome families.)

We originally planned 23-25 total.  Having built the first 7, we decided four
of the remaining ones would be prohibitively expensive to build.  We could
still build 3-4 more , but it seems very unlikely now, and development costs
would be high for that few homes.  Plus many members would now be unhappy to
give up any more green space.  

We have approximately 20-21 adults (depending on who buys the current home for
sale.  I personally would like a few more families for more people resources,
but on the other hand, this simplifies some with decisionmaking.  We have 8
households with one adult, including 3 single parents, but then my experience
suggests that 2-adult households may or may not have any more time available to
the community than one, so that may not be a significant factor.  It's very


Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community,(MoCoCo) Twin Cities Area, Mpls.,MN
-- e-mail:      baxter [at]
15 homes - 7 new townhomes plus 
        8 coop apartments       in the Mansion (a rehab Georgian building)
(built as a retirement home in 1924 -) which also serves as our Common House
coops moved in 1993, townhomes in 1996
One 3 BR  townhome for sale - see our web page
 Voice Mail for Monterey Cohousing - 952-930-7554
 web page: 

--------------------Original message--------------------
Zev wrote:
<We have 11 (eleven) households because the city would not allow any more
and we could not afford any less.

2.  What do you believe would be the optimal number of households for a
cohousing community?

My experience, as you might have seen, in a recent Cohousing Journal
article, includes both the largest (42 homes) and virtually the smallest
(with a common house) communities in the country.  Neither are the
optimal size.

I would feel that in the range of 20-35 households is optimal.  However,
as you will probably discover as you move ahead, the actual number of
homes you end up with will be determined by a slurry of both outside and
inside forces in addition to "what you want to have".

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