What’s Cohousing

PotluckCohousing communities are intentional, collaborative neighborhoods formed when people buy homes in a community they plan and manage themselves. The group may come together before land has been purchased or early in the development process. They meet regularly and participate in the design aspects, including creating inviting outdoor spaces (gardens, courtyards, decks, patios), as well as common facilities that encourage community through social activity and sharing some meals together. Indoor spaces also encourage residents to share skills or equipment, such as movement classes or craft and woodworking/shop supplies.

Having shared equipment, together with promoting recycling and alternative energy sources, can prevent duplication and provide economies of scale. So cohousing communities, including Silver Sage, are generally more ecologically friendly than single-family dwellings. Cohousing communities are managed by the residents through a participatory process that involves non-hierarchical structure and decision making.

The majority of cohousing communities in the country are multi-generational, although a growing number are being formed by residents in the second half of life who want to focus on healthy aging and ways to look out for one another as they grow older.  Silver Sage Village was one of the first of these “senior cohousing communities” and continues to be a pioneer in exploring how “aging in community” unfolds within a cohousing setting.

Books about Cohousing

The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living, 2nd Edition, by Charles Durrett. Silver Sage Village is featured.
Reinventing Community: Stories from the Walkways of Cohousing, by David Wann. Features a section by Jim Leach, developer of Silver Sage Village.
Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities, by Kathryn McCamant
Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, by Kathryn M. McCamant, et al.


Action Pact has a strong article from before we moved in.



National Cohousing Association

Elder Cohousing

Conscious Aging in Cohousing Community

Cohousing Explained: What is a Home? – nice explanation (YouTube video) although for Intergenerational instead of Senior Cohousing

Wikipedia page about Cohousing

The Senior Cohousing Handbook, reviewed by Utne

Senior Cohousing May be the Next Real-Estate Trend

AARP on Elder Cohousing

New York Times: The New Old Age (features SSV photos)

USA Today: Seniors at Home in Cohousing (features SSV)

http://www.sallyabrahms.com/img/TIME-Cohousing.pdf (features SSV)

Elder Cohousing: The Epitome of Aging in Community (features SSV)