The popularization of the term Co-housing
From: Ty Albright (
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:09:46 -0700 (PDT)
Is it Cohousing?  This coming May in Nashville at the 2017 NATIONAL
COHOUSING CONFERENCE we hope to have some fun discussing and debating this
question.  When is something cohousing, and when is it something else?


Cohousing is a proven concept and living solution.  While there is ongoing
debate about the nuances of what is or is not cohousing; those who are aware
of and have been involved with cohousing understand when "if it looks like a
duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a


Sometimes people call a penguin a duck.  Penguins have things that are
similar to a duck, but a penguin is not a duck.


Cohousing values and characteristics improve any community and aspects of
cohousing can benefit people with unique needs.  We need all sorts of
cooperative, collaborative, community-oriented housing of which cohousing is
one type.


The following are not cohousing, they are penguins:

Shared Housing / House Sharing


Any apartment or independent living type facility that has a management

Pocket Neighborhood




Trailer park with a strong social committee


HOA Condominium or Cooperative (co-op) (these are forms of real estate


You can go to and see the most current consensus driven
definition of cohousing, but for evaluation purposes consider the following:


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), 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 Albright Project Management
Little Red Hen LLC
 <mailto:tmalbright [at]> tmalbright [at]


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