What is Cohousing?

A cohousing community is a type of intentional community composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities. The community is planned, owned and managed by the residents—who also share activities that may include cooking, dining, gardening, socializing and governance of the community.

The people in cohousing intend to live individually but in a community, since much in life is easier, often cheaper, and certainly more fun with other people around.

Seniors are often retired or partly so, with different interests and needs than younger families. Most of us want to downsize and simplify life. We’re all of an age, we get the same kind of creaks and cracks and appreciate a little help now and then, but we’re not looking for a nursing home or assisted living facilities. We walk, play golf, ride bikes and go to a gym or a theatre. But the key to that good life is community.

We plan to get together at the Common House for meals a couple of times a week, or just have coffee or a glass of wine with a friend when we feel like it, or maybe we’ll settle the world’s problems on a rainy day in the garden shed or the shop. But we also enjoy sitting quietly at home to read or work on a hobby. We encourage each other to enjoy life, we help each other out from time to time, and it all works.

We each will own our own home in townhouse-style condos, and we will also own a share of our 6+ acre site, the Common House, bocce court, shop, art studio garden shed and so on. We’ll manage it all together. And we’ll have fun!

This isn’t yet our reality, but it is our dream. Dreams need foundations, and we’re building ours now, here in Port Townsend. We hired McCamant and Durrett Architects, leaders of cohousing in the United States, and will soon start constructing 28 houses on a site with lots of green space. Our buildings won’t be ready for a while, but our community is already thriving, growing, and looking for a few more people to be part of the dream.