Re: Cohousing that integrates a limited number of adult persons with disabilities
From: Tiffany Lee Brown (
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2016 09:44:02 -0800 (PST)
Marion ~ Thank you for asking such an important question. Growing up in
Oregon around various flavors of intentional communities in the 1970s and
'80s, I was fortunate to experience a world in which that kind of life and
housing were part of kids' consciousness. We grew up knowing that this was
one of the ways people could choose to live.

But these being mainly rural and in Oregon, the ones I saw utterly lacked
diversity. Looking back, to a person everyone I met from a commune, group
house, commune/farm, etc. was white and able-bodied.

It seems to me that the increasing interest in retirement cohousing and
multigenerational cohousing might provide a natural way to incorporate
disability concerns into planning a community. My dream is to be part of a
housing community that openly welcomes and makes accommodations for people
with MCS, environmental illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia,
mold illness, Lyme, and the like. For us, having the community center be
built with zero-VOC materials, asking all members to be fragrance-free and
dryer-sheet-free on their clothes could make a huge difference, enabling us
to attend group events and use group facilities that otherwise would make
us ill.

I could also imagine a community renting out temporary housing in or near
the community center/house for members who become ill long-term, making it
easy for people to help them out.

Anyway. I hope to hear more success stories about deliberately including
folks with particular disability needs.


tiffany lee brown

editor, plazm magazine
director, new oregon arts & letters

On Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 7:52 AM, Alice Alexander <alicecohous [at]>

> Marion, there are many cohousing communities who have organically
> incorporated family members with disabilities, perhaps just one family
> within the community. I am not aware of any documented models for success
> for an integrated community with several adult members with disabilities.
> You may benefit from reading these blog posts from presenters at the
> National Cohousing Conference in Durham last May, during our "More Than
> Just Cohousing" session led by Laura Fitch.
> Also, I encourage you to connect with the North Street Neighborhood
> Community, in Durham Coho, which has been a success.
> and Building Ohana in Spokane
> It Turns Out We’re a Neurodiverse Community
> <>
> Neurodiverse Cohousing: What is it and Why does it Matter?
> <>
> Good luck!
> Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director
> On Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 2:17 AM, Marion Pape <marionpape [at]> wrote:
> >
> > Amikaro Cohousing, a formative urban cohousing project in Victoria,
> > British Columbia is developing a cohousing project that will include 5
> > families with adult children with severe disabilities and the remaining
> > units populated by a diversity of age groups. Just like with seniors who
> > suffer from social isolation, this group of disabled adults, represented
> by
> > their aging adult mothers (50’ and 60’s)and sometimes caregivers is
> looking
> > to build an intentional community that is fully inclusive, removing all
> the
> > barriers.
> >
> > My question is whether anyone knows of any cohousing project that could
> be
> > a successful model for this type of project. If there is no model, can
> you
> > suggest why such an innovation has not developed?
> >
> > Thank you for your thoughts.
> >
> > Marion Pape
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
> --
> Alice Alexander
> Executive Director
> <>
> [image: The Cohousing Association]
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