Re: Happy National Cohousing Open House Day!
From: Anne Birchfield (
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2018 09:29:38 -0700 (PDT)

This is an amazing compilation of opportunities and information. Thank you!

Anne Birchfield
Fair Oaks Eco-Housing

On Sun, Apr 29, 2018 at 6:04 AM, Raines Cohen <rc3-coho-L [at]> 

> Curious about cohousing? Want to see what it's really like? Compare
> communities? Get inspired? Now's your chance.
> Here's what I blogged about it on the Coho/US website.
> Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach and Cohousing California regional organizer
> 2018 Coordinator, National Cohousing Open House Day
> at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing
> Read the whole thing with embedded links here:
> It's that time again! National Cohousing Open House Day is today, Sunday,
> April 29, 2018.
> We've got over 60 cohousing neighborhoods across the country participating
> this year, plus a few on alternate dates this week; one community is
> offering an online virtual tour.
> While communities with homes for sale and some others regularly host tours
> and open houses, for most of us living in cohousing, everyday life is about
> living our lives, enjoying our private homes and shared community
> connections, so we don't welcome unscheduled visits. Without someone to
> give you context and make introductions, seeing the architecture won't give
> you a lot of insight into community life.
> For Open House Day, though, we're stepping up and making the commitment, as
> part of a larger movement, to say, "join us!" While there are not openings
> for rent or sale at every community, just having the opportunity to meet
> people and imagine living there can help you build the relationship that
> could lead to the opportunity you're looking for.
> Here's some highlights worth exploring, wherever you are planning to call
> home:
> * Boulder, Colorado: Three communities within a mile of each other are open
> during similar extended afternoon hours so you could walk or bike between
> them. One community, designed for aging, has three members planning to move
> within a year, so you could potentially buy in together with friends
> * In North Carolina's Research Triangle, nine different communities,
> established and forming, will be open. One forming community, Village
> Hearth, will have an info table at a nearby established community's Common
> House, in addition to doing its own site tours.
> * In the San Francisco Bay Area, a regional umbrella group has been
> coordinating hours between several Oakland/Berkeley/Emeryville communities
> to make a full day of it, and is offering a guided van tour that includes
> stops at a cohousing-style tiny home ecovillage and a nomadic community
> where members live in buses, and then ends up at a BBQ. One forming group
> will be present at open houses for three different established communities
> in the area.
> * Several communities are hosting kids' activities, providing refreshments,
> or organizing other fun activities for all. Check our list for details.
> Some tips when visiting: (inspired by lists created by Joani Blank, a
> longtime organizer and activist in the national cohousing movement)
> * Remember that you are visiting private homes and Common Houses that are
> opening up by choice, not because they have to. Always be respectful and
> appreciative, and respectful to only enter designated spaces at listed
> times. Keep in mind that often just one or two members are hosting the open
> house, and the rest of the community wants to just go on with life as
> usual.
> * Wear comfortable shoes, especially for visiting unbuilt sites or groups
> with homes under construction; in some homes, you may have to remove your
> shoes to go inside.
> * If bringing kids along, they are your responsibility -- none of the
> communities listing with us are offering childcare. We have had visitors to
> my home community who assume that when their kids run off and play that
> other kids or parents will look after them, but this is generally not the
> case. It's about relationships, not providing a service or transactions.
> * Don't bring pets without advance arrangements. We've had folks show up
> with critters and get surprised by issues of allergies and triggering
> reactions from other animals and people around.
> * Read up in advance on the communities you are visiting, from our
> Directory and/or their websites, so that you can avoid repeating the
> same-old boring questions and use your time to learn what matters for you.
> * Always ask before taking pictures, especially of people, and especially
> of kids.
> Pay close attention to signs and instructions from your hosts about where
> to park and what spaces/homes are open.
> * Talk to other community seekers you meet, perhaps you could join them in
> forming something new!
> Check out the list, and make sure you're up-to-date (there have been a few
> last-minute time changes and cancellations, as well as several additions in
> the past few days). Bring along some friends and/or family. And get out
> there and explore!
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