Middlesex Senior Cohousing was launched by our two founders in March 2016. By July, the original mailing list had ballooned from 100 names to 250. In November, we formed an LLC. By January 2017 we had a core group of four Associate Member households and began meeting regularly. In September 2017, we hired Katie McCamant, the pre-eminent cohousing development consultant in the United States, to guide us, and we shifted our site search to the western edge of Metro Boston and the small towns of Acton and Maynard and surroundings. By February 2018 our mailing list had grown to over 450 names.
We continue to work on six goals:
- Grow the group.
- Engage professionals in a timely way
- Create a shared vision of our ideal site location and list of core values
- Learn good group processes (we recently took a training in facilitation and consensus decision making)
- Find land.
- Grow our group identity and connectedness -- have fun together!
Here are some other things we've done:
- Organized three public community conversations on senior cohousing that were attended by nearly 200 people
- Ran a 10-week workshop called "Aging Successfully in Community" for over two dozen attendees (based on a curriculum developed by Charles Durrett)
- Met with various architects and also town planners in Belmont, Bedford, Watertown, and Arlington, Mass.
- Worked with nationally known cohousing consultants, Mary Kraus and Chris ScottHanson
- Promoted senior cohousing by selling and giving away several dozen copies of The Senior Cohousing Handbook by Charles Durrett. Also worked with local libraries and partnered with local independent bookstores to ensure the book was in stock
- Built connections with various cohousing communities, including Cornerstone Village, Pioneer Valley Cohousing, Bay State Commons, Quimper Village, and Oakcreek Community
- Wrote and published articles in several Metro North/West Boston newspapers
- Partnered with a local developer and architect to submit a proposal for a town-owned property earmarked for senior housing (declined)