What is cohousing?
Cohousing is a form of collaborative housing that offers residents an old-fashioned sense of neighborhood. In cohousing, residents know their neighbors very well and there is a strong sense of community that is absent in today's cities and suburbs. Cohousing communities consist of private, resident-owned, fully-equipped dwellings and extensive common amenities including a common house and recreation areas. They are designed and managed by the residents who have chosen to live in a close-knit neighborhood that seeks a healthy blend of privacy and community.
Will I have my own kitchen? What common facilities do we share?
Each home is an independent unit which includes kitchen, dining and living rooms, bedrooms and baths. There is also shared outdoor space & garden, play area, and the shared common house which includes a kitchen and dining room large enough to accommodate the whole community. The common house also includes a children's playroom, guest room, rec room and laundry room.
Where is CoHo located?
CoHo is just one block from public transportation and an easy bicycling distance of less than two miles to downtown Corvallis.
How are decisions made?
CoHo uses consensus decision-making, a process in which decisions are made by the collaboration and consent of every member of the group. This does not necessarily mean unanimity. In fact, total agreement is rare. The decision must be acceptable enough, however, that everyone can live with it. Consensus empowers all members of the group and requires them to be active participants in the decision-making process.
What strategies do you have for solving problems as they arise?
CoHo uses nonviolent communication techniques as created by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. Nonviolent Communication is a way of speaking that facilitates the flow of communication needed to exchange information and resolve differences peacefully. It helps us identify our shared values and needs, encourages us to use language that increases goodwill, and avoid language that contributes to resentment. ("Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Compassion" by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.) Residents manage the community and meet on a regular basis to develop policies and do problem solving for the community.
Cohousing/commune; what's the difference?
Cohousing could be described as more of an "intentional neighborhood" than a "commune". Communes usually share a religious, political, or social ideology. Some share income and living space. Cohousers share the desire to have more meaningful relationships with their neighbors. CoHo also has shared values (see our Vision & Values document) that need to be agreed to and respected but no dogma that needs to be adopted.
What about common meals?
CoHo usually has 2-3 common meals per week, prepared by a team of people for however many diners sign up for the meal in advance. Typically, each adult is involved in meal preparation and/or cleanup 1-2 times per month. Each member only pays for the meals they sign up for.
A common meal may be one of the few opportunities in our busy week to sit down and have a real conversation with our neighbors. Many feel that these meals are the glue that holds cohousing communities together. For this reason, CoHo requests that each cohousing member participate in a common meal at least once a week.
What responsibilities will I have in the community?
Community members are expected to serve on at least one committee (i.e. finance, maintenance, landscape); attend community meetings; help with chores that may include: maintenance, gardening/yard work, cleaning in common house, preparation/clean up for common meal.
What about safety and security?
Because we know all our neighbors, we have an excellent neighborhood watch system built into our community. All "eyes" are on the common areas and someone who does not belong in the community is very easily recognized. There are also many people to watch out for the home of an absent resident. If your child falls off a swing when he or she is out of your immediate sight, another adult is there to pick her/him up.
Parents who raise their children in cohousing have an informal network of support and help with child-care. Children have peers close by right there in the neighborhood to play with and safe and appropriate places in which to play.
Cohousing has an extended family-like atmosphere where children have an opportunity to form close, nurturing relationships with people of all ages. They are exposed to positive values and lifestyles that give them a broad view of family life. They are surrounded by other adults whom they can trust and who provide other adult role models.
How do I become a member?
See under membership on this web site to see the steps to becoming a member. These steps are designed to help you learn if CoHo is a community for you and to assist you in the decision to join us or not.
Why are there so many steps to membership? Joining CoHo is an important step and commitment and we want you to be sure that it's right for you! We want you to take some time to get to know us and find out what CoHo is about. As a part of this process, CoHo uses a clearness committee to help identify any false assumptions and expectations. If you think you might want to join us, we will match you up with a current member to “buddy” you through this decision.
How many people live at CoHo?
CoHo consists of 34 households, currently including 50 adults and 18 children.
How is the community managed?
The community is managed by the residents. Regular meetings are held to develop policies and do problem-solving for the community. Each resident serves on at least one committee.
What if I have company?
CoHo has a guest room in the common house and guests are welcome. The guest room in the common house helps to make each of our own units more efficient without the wasted space of a guest room that is rarely used.
What about pets?
Our pet policy is intended to promote a harmonious relationship among pets, pet owners, and non-pet owners and a peaceful, clean, and safe environment for all. Click here to read the complete policy.