Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves

Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves

Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing OurselvesAuthor(s): Kathryn McCamant, Charles Durrett, Ellen Hertzman

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Paperback: 288 pages

ISBN: 0898155398

ISBN-13: 978-0898155396

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How-To Editor’s Recommended Book, 02/01/97:

Alright, you tried living in a commune in the 1970s, and people kept borrowing your toothbrush and leaving dishes in the sink. Then you set up house by yourself and felt lonely. You got married, started raising a family and ended up feeling isolated from your friends and the rest of the community. You go to work, wave to your neighbors over the fence now and then, and think there must be more to life than this. There is: a whole new concept of building a neighborhood and sense of community. This is the story of how and why cohousing works, and how to go about making it happen for yourself.

From The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by Ilene Rosoff , 02/01/97:
Does the idea of not having to cook meals for yourself or family every night, deal with traffic on your block, or worry when your children are out playing in the neighborhood appeal to you? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider exploring cohousing, a concept that originated in Denmark in the early 1970s and has spread throughout Europe. In Cohousing, a number of European cohousing communities are profiled. Although each community is a unique reflection of its members’ tastes and desires, there are some common components, such as parking lots on the perimeters of the community for pedestrian safety, a common house where meals can be shared, and recreational facilities housing various community activities and services. With all the responsibilities entailed in managing a home and/or a family, cohousing is a solution for finding sufficient time to relax and spend with the people who are important to us. (The authors have recently started The Cohousing Company, a design and development company formed specifically to assist groups interested in planning and implementing cohousing in this country.)

Excerpted from Cohousing by Kathryn McCamant, et al (as appears in The WomanSource Catalog & Review). Copyright(c) 1993. Reprinted by permission, all rights reserved :
The dining room is located in the common house at the end of the hall. Here dinner is served four to six times a week, with 50 to 60 percent of the residents (25 to 35 people) typically taking part. The use of tokens, earned by cooking, assures that people prepare dinner in proportion to the number of times they eat. Each month residents sign up for when they will cook; and a few days beforehand, for when they will be there for dinner. This flexible system allows residents to participate as much or as little as they like.

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