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Monday, August 22, 2005

Living in a co-housing community

Common House from the gardens

I live in a The Middle Road Community near Nelson, British Columbia Canada. It's a co-housing community on 50 acres of land with 12 homes and a beautiful common house (community building). Each household owns its own piece of land and house and shared ownership of common land, roads, etc.

Co-housing was developed in Scandanavia and has grown in North America the last 10 years. It involves some simple principles and is non-ideological. Put simply, we have privacy and our own space/homes, but we share some facilities and a helluva lot of fine community life. In our case that means a Saturday potluck, a Wednesday meal where one house cooks for everyone else and annual New YEars, Thanksgiving, Solstice events. Our Common House has hosted birthday parties, dances, bar mitzvahs, weddings, funerals, poker games, concerts, painting, yoga and lately... a whole lot of teenage gatherings (can't be sure what all goes on there).

What's it like for me? We named our road and community THE MIDDLE ROAD and that says it. It's not a commune, but it's much more than a neighborhood. As our punk rocker babysitter said 1o years ago..."Ohhh, I get it. It's like you're a bunch of old hippies and now you have some money." Kind of.

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That looks so beautiful (though most of what I've seen of BC is absolutely breathtaking). So, can non-citizens get in on the action? I may have to look for a northern move as the US rushes into the 17th century and there're are some pharma jobs in the Vancouver area. . .
Where you live looks absolutely beautiful. The first co-housing community is underway in Texas. It's being built in East Austin. It seems like such a great idea. My husband and I were on a list for quite a while for another group that was trying to get organized, but it never got off the ground. No one had ever lived in co-housing before so it was hard to imagine. It really helps to get a first-hand perspective. Thank you!

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