Cohousing isn't just a destination, it's a journey. How we get there is where we will arrive. And once we arrive, the journey just begins.
Pat Darlington, Oakcreek Community founder
What Is Cohousing?
Cohousing is an innovative housing model that started in Denmark in the 1970s and was brought to the United States in the 1980s by California architect, Charles Durrett and his architect wife, Katie McCamant, who coined the term “cohousing.”
It consists of privately owned homes clustered around shared open space and a common house. Future residents collaborate with professionals in designing their neighborhood, and after moving in, they are in charge of managing it. The financial structure is like a condo association—you own your own residence—but the focus is on interdependence. In cohousing, residents aim to recreate an old-fashioned neighborhood, where people know and care about each other, and help each other.
Senior cohousing also began in Denmark in the 1990s and is just emerging in the United States. It is designed to accommodate the changing physical and social needs of seniors. There are hundreds of senior cohousing developments in Europe (250 in Denmark alone), 10 in the US, and none in New England. Yet.