Re: Chances of Finding Members with Children
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2021 05:57:22 -0700 (PDT)
On Apr 17, 2021, at 10:00 PM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]> 
> You think households with children choose where to live randomly?

I think cohousers shouldn’t set goals that are unrealistic and then beat 
themselves up because they don’t reach them. “Since the beginning” communities 
have wanted more children and worried about it through out the whole 
development phase. Needing to sell the last 1-2 units but also wanting to save 
them for households with children presents a dilemma that is rarely resolved in 
the direction of leaving the unit unsold until some children come along.

I don’t think households with children choose where to live any more randomly 
than others. But if there are so few out there it doesn’t matter how they 
choose. In 2019 there were 122.8 million households in the US. What percentage 
of those want to live in cohousing? 

Katie estimated a few weeks ago that there are now 160 cohousing communities 
(which may include Canada). If each community has an average of 30 homes, that 
is ~ 4,800 households — .000039 %. A rather small fraction. I think the reach 
of cohousing is much greater than that, bringing revolutionary change to 
conventional condos, but that isn’t bringing children to cohousing in greater 
than average numbers. There doesn’t seem to be a pent up demand out there -- 
families with children waiting to move into cohousing if it means moving or 
organizing communities themselves.

Senior cohousing is the fastest growing cohousing segment and children are not 

What happened at Takoma Village is that we only had 3 children when we moved in 
though that quickly became 6 as soon as the last unit was sold, but within 2 
years we had ~20 because people adopted children or gave birth to babies they 
had been delaying having until they moved in. Then we had a dry period as those 
grew up or households moved because of the schools. Now we have 8 of 43 
households with children. The same percentage as households generally.

Cohousing as a happy place for kids is a wonderful image but it is largely a 
happy place for adults, heavy on the over 55 crowd.

(All numbers estimates and may contain errors. Please use caution.)

Sharon Villines
affordablecohousing [at]

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