Community size
From: Roger Studley (
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2015 07:17:11 -0700 (PDT)
Hi All --

Nice to meet so many of you at the conference, and I'm hoping you can offer insight into *community size*.

Prior to the conference, my understanding -- from reading and from conversations with experienced cohousers and professionals -- was that the sweet spot in terms of the number of households in a cohousing community was *low 20s to high 30s*. Smaller than low 20s and there aren't enough folks for a vibrant community or to get everything done (and group dynamics can get weird), larger than high 30s and it's hard to be a cohesive community.

At the conference, however, I heard that there's some conventional wisdom that the magic minimum number is *14 households*.

There's probably no bright line below which cohousing won't work, but I am concerned about being too small. Here in Berkeley, sites that could accommodate 20 units are hard to come by, and I'm wondering how we should be thinking about this, especially since we intend to be a multi-generational community. Any wisdom you have to share would be much appreciated: Where do the above numbers come from? What are the difficulties faced by smaller communities? What's most important for smaller communities to succeed? And *what does seem to be the minimum size for a well functioning community and why?*

Thanks, and warm regards to everyone!


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