One particular book has been a cornerstone for many successful multigenerational cohousing communities. Charles Durrett and Katheryn McCamant brought the Danish cohousing concept to America, and they introduced cohousing through this useful book - it is easy to understand, and the stories within are beautifully told. They coined the English term "cohousing," meaning "collaborative housing."
"If I could make only one suggestion for your long-term success and the continued success of cohousing, it would be that all your prospective members have read this book, and that the folks in your town/area know what cohousing is. It is better for your community and the success of cohousing if people who are buying a house in your cohousing community actually know what cohousing is—in detail. New residents who have read the book and refer to it from time to time are the happier buyers. It sets the community up to succeed and helps get people in your cohousing community who want to be in cohousing. And it makes it more fun for everyone. "(Charles Durrett)
Buy "Creating Cohousing" from Amazon here.
This is Charles Durrett's most recent book. It is chock full of important & updated information.
"This book is for people who care about architecture as a social act. This book is for architects, sociologists, and housing advocates. For families that want to be best assured that they are moving into a high-functioning neighborhood and that their children can grow up as happy and healthy as possible. For seniors that seek alternatives to institutions or isolation. It’s for planners and politicians who want high-functioning neighborhoods as building blocks to their towns. For people planning shared housing, co-living, ecovillages, churches, hospitals, mixed-use commercial/ housing, and childcare centers and schools. This book is for developers who want to make much better than average multi-family housing, and non-profit housing developers who know that housing first is great but that community first will take us further. This book is for colleges and universities planning new neighborhoods for retired alumni, or new housing for students and faculties. And this book is for towns making, planning and walking streets, and other town altering improvements into the future wherever a highly functional community is a priority. This book is definitely for anyone planning a new cohousing community or improving an older one."
National Cohousing Associations
National Cohousing Associations are a treasure trove of information, courses and workshops, events, cohousing professional listings, and useful discussions.
The U.S. Cohousing Association
The Cohousing Association of the United States (Coho/US) is an organization whose purpose is to promote and encourage the cohousing concept, support both individuals and groups in creating communities, provide assistance to completed groups for improving their systems for living together in community, and provide networking opportunities for those involved or interested in cohousing.
The US Cohousing Association has one of the best cohousing resource libraries in the world HERE and has catalogued and provided links to hundreds of books, studies, webchats, blogs, articles, videos, and other materials on many different cohousing topics, including topics like: kitchen design, working circle governance, raising kids in cohousing, permaculture and cohousing, and many more topics.
It has a very robust collection of regular online events here that anyone can attend, and it is part of a large and useful discussion forum that has existed for decades and has archived its discussions of every possible cohousing topic one can search here.
Danish Cohousing Association
The Danish Cohousing Association is the first and largest cohousing association in the world, with over 300 completed communities and around 7% of the population living in cohousing. The site has a useful knowledge bank here and regularly sponsors events in Danish useful to the cohousing world.
The Canadian Cohousing Network
The Canadian Cohousing Association is a registered non-profit organization that promotes the creation of cohousing communities as a model for sustainable development by raising public awareness about cohousing and by bringing people together to form communities. The most valuable function of the CCN is making connections with people who are interested in living in a cohousing community. CCN links individuals and cohousing groups together to share resources and make the process of creating a community easier and more economical.
The Canadian association's membership is affordable and open to all here. It regularly hosts great events, and its website has a short, well organized, step by step approach to starting a cohousing here.
Belgian Cohousing Association
Samenhuizen promotes and supports all types of collaborative housing and intentional communities. Since 2000 we are active in the Belgian regions of Flanders and Brussels.For anyone who dreams about living differently with less private space and more quality.
The Belgian association is vibrant and includes a large amount of shared co-living opportunities. They regularly provide a robust collection of free and highly useful online events here. Many events are in Dutch.
The Netherlands‘ first cohousing (“Centraal Wonen”) was built in the mid-70s. Today there are more than 100 Centraal Wonen projects in the Netherlands. The Netherlands have created a particular type of cohousing model, which is based on the organisation of large cohousing communities into clusters of 5 to 10 units. Each of these clusters has its own common facilities and the right to choose its new members, however, there is one large commonly shared building for parties, meetings etc. Around half the cohousing projects in the Netherlands are large scale. There are some 300 senior cohousing communities (“Groepswonen van Ouderen”) in the Netherlands. (From UK Cohousing Network site: https://cohousing.org.uk/cohousing-in-the-uk-and-worldwide/)
United Kingdom Cohousing Networkcohousing.org.ukThe UK Cohousing Network was established to promote awareness of cohousing and support the development of new cohousing communities. The UK Cohousing Network is a membership organization with a mission to enable communities to use the cohousing principles to create better places to live by reducing isolation and loneliness, and by sharing facilities and services to reduce living costs.
Swedish National Cohousing Association- Cohousing NOW
Sweden has a long-standing cohousing tradition spanning decades. The Swedish feminist movement played a key role in promoting cohousing as a way to share common chores more equally between the genders. Today, the association Kollektivhus Nu (“Cohousing Now”) is successful in promoting the idea across the country. In Sweden, most of the Cohousing projects are state-owned, as they were developed as part of a large societal project of an active welfare state; recently built cohousing however is now also privately owned. Originally formed in 1981, this Swedish Cohousing association has recently been revitalized with the prime purpose to inform the public about cohousing as an alternative, and influencing authorities to facilitate the creation and running of such units.
(this description of the Swedish Association was obtained from the UK Cohousing association website).