Re: The popularization of the term Co-housing
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 08:37:41 -0700 (PDT)
Hello Ty — 

My guess is this topic will get a lot of mileage on this list.  I’m just going 
to address a couple of things:

> On Oct 21, 2016, at 1:09 PM, Ty Albright <tmalbright [at]> wrote:
> Is it Cohousing?  
> The following are not cohousing, they are penguins:
> Shared Housing / House Sharing
> Ecovillage

The EcoVillage at Ithaca has THREE cohousing communities making up its 

> Any apartment or independent living type facility that has a management
> company

There are cohousing communities, including my own of Takoma Village, that use a 
management company.  It collects our HoA Dues, helps w/ our budget, pays our 
common bills and facilitates some of our very large maintenance projects.  
Eastern Village in Silver Spring, MD, even has a cleaning company that cleans 
its CH.  Cleanest CH on the planet …
> Pocket Neighborhood

Ross Chapin, author of POCKET NEIGHBORHOODS includes an entire chapter on 
cohousing in his foundational book.
> HOA Condominium or Cooperative (co-op) (these are forms of real estate
> ownership)

The overwhelming number of cohousing communities are HOA Condos or Co-ops.
> You can go to and see the most current consensus driven
> definition of cohousing, but for evaluation purposes consider the following:

I looked again at the “definition” of cohousing on

After 30 years, I think Chuck and Katie’s definition still stands the test of 
time so to speak:

Small-scale village-like neighborhoods that cluster their private homes around 
a Common House. (Actually I think this is Don Lindeman’s text — former editor 
of “Cohousing" sadly now deceased —  but it captures the definition).


1. Input into the design
2. Management by the residents
3. Architecture that supports a sense of community
4. Co-ownership of a lot of common property

Some folks add:

5. Purposeful separation of the car
6. Some form of collaborative decision making.  

After rereading the current consensed on definition on … uh …um … 
I think Katie and Chuck’s is better.
> Cohousing involves aspects of:  1). Design and 2). Intentional Community
> Design includes the creation of a physical environment that maximizes the
> opportunity for humans to encounter each other, which will in turn maximize
> the opportunity for human interaction and the creation of community.  This
> includes permanent construction private homes (which affords privacy),
> shared community space and infrastructure.  A typical feature is a common
> house for residents to gather together and share meals.  Resident
> participation in the design is optimal.
> Intentional Community includes the concept that all residents in a community
> agree to be good neighbors.  This includes the concept of self-governance /
> management, individual economic investment and independent income (it's not
> a commune nor free government housing),

The FIC collects a lot of information on all types of intentional communities 
which includes income sharing communes.

> and the willingness to participate
> in community building activities including such things as common meals and
> conflict resolution.
> The term Cohousing is a contraction of collaborative and cooperative and
> housing.  The "co" suggest in working with others.
> Ty
> Ty Albright Project Management
> Little Red Hen LLC
> 214-336-7952
> <mailto:tmalbright [at]> tmalbright [at]
> <>

As I said Ty — we’re going to have some dynamic conversations on this topic.  I 
look forward to reading them.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

A friend recently told me I was delusional.  I nearly fell off my unicorn.

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