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The 2019 National Cohousing Conference in Portland, Oregon was a huge success. For information about future conferences visit the CohoUS website and subscribe to the newsletter. You can view and download a souvenir PDF with photos and more info about the conference.

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Build It [clear filter]
Friday, May 31
 

1:30pm

Cohousing 101
If you are new to cohousing, this session is for you and can help you have a more successful conference experience.

Cohousing architects Grace Kim (Schemata Workshop) and Laura Fitch (Fitch Architecture + Planning) will review the characteristics of cohousing, commonly used vocabulary (aka jargon), governance structures, cohousing resources, benefits of cohousing, examples of built communities, how to navigate the conference, and who’s who in the cohousing world.

The same session will be offered on both Friday and Saturday to make sure all who are interested can attend.

Speakers
avatar for Laura Fitch

Laura Fitch

Principal Architect, Fitch Architecture & Community Design
Laura Fitch is a founding principal of Fitch Architecture & Community Design in Amherst, Massachusetts and a 24-year resident of Pioneer Valley Cohousing.  Fitch specializes in energy-efficient building design for homes, commercial properties, and smart growth communities.   She... Read More →
avatar for Grace Kim

Grace Kim

Principal Architect - Conference CoChair, Schemata Workshop
Grace Kim is co-chair of this year's Cohousing Conference and a founding principal of Schemata Workshop and began her architectural career in Chicago before returning home to Seattle. Grace is a consensus builder, helping her clients and project stakeholders envision how a completed... Read More →



Friday May 31, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Galleria II
 
Saturday, June 1
 

9:00am

Cohousing 101
If you are new to cohousing, this session is for you and can help you have a more successful conference experience.

Cohousing architects Grace Kim (Schemata Workshop) will review the characteristics of cohousing, commonly used vocabulary (aka jargon), governance structures, cohousing resources, benefits of cohousing, examples of built communities, how to navigate the conference, and who’s who in the cohousing world.

The same session will be offered on both Friday and Saturday to make sure all who are interested can attend.

Speakers
avatar for Laura Fitch

Laura Fitch

Principal Architect, Fitch Architecture & Community Design
Laura Fitch is a founding principal of Fitch Architecture & Community Design in Amherst, Massachusetts and a 24-year resident of Pioneer Valley Cohousing.  Fitch specializes in energy-efficient building design for homes, commercial properties, and smart growth communities.   She... Read More →
avatar for Grace Kim

Grace Kim

Principal Architect - Conference CoChair, Schemata Workshop
Grace Kim is co-chair of this year's Cohousing Conference and a founding principal of Schemata Workshop and began her architectural career in Chicago before returning home to Seattle. Grace is a consensus builder, helping her clients and project stakeholders envision how a completed... Read More →


Saturday June 1, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Galleria III

9:00am

Cohousing Design
Learn about cohousing design and why it is important to the functionality of a cohousing community.

Speakers
avatar for Charles Durrett

Charles Durrett

Architect, Author, McCamant & Durrett Architects
Architect and author Charles Durrett brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. He pioneered the cohousing movement in North America, and teaches architects and community leaders how to start successful cohousing communities around the globe. Durrett authored The Senior... Read More →


Saturday June 1, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Parlors A&B

9:00am

Financing Solutions for Cohousing Home Buyers
What's your house payment? What you pay the bank? NOPE - you need to account for maintenance, transportation costs (location) and utilities. Learn about Energy Efficient Mortgages.

Speakers
avatar for Dave Porter

Dave Porter

PorterWorks
Dave Porter is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant with over 3 decades of leading, real estate and sales leadership experience. His presentations are fun and informative.  Facebook... Read More →


Saturday June 1, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Directors

9:00am

Q&A: Creating Affordability and Income Diversity
This session will be for anyone that is interested in having a range diverse of income levels in their cohousing community. Attendees will learn about the importance of partnerships, home-ownership and rental subsidy programs, land trust models, approaches to making HOAs more affordable and making a percentage of units in our communities permanently affordable.  

Additional Q&A expert Katie Ulrich: Proud Ground

Moderators
avatar for Alicia DeLashmutt

Alicia DeLashmutt

Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative
The Founding Neighbor of Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative, Alicia has over 16 years of community involvement as a disability inclusion and housing advocate. She is the proud mother of a fabulous and strong-willed teenage girl who experiences complex disabilities. Her daughter... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Adesina Cameron

Adesina Cameron

Mortgage Loan Advisor, Fairway Independent Mortgage
Before coming to the Mortgage industry, Adesina spent most of her career working in natural food grocery, sustainability, social justice and healthy eating education. After buying her own home she was so impressed with the impact her mortgage broker made on her life that she decided... Read More →
avatar for Joren Bass

Joren Bass

Senor Development Manager, UD+P
A “boots on the ground architect,” Joren is every bit as comfortable and capable with a pencil or computer as with a framing hammer in hand. Adept at managing every phase of the building process, Joren collaborates with Avi Ben-Zaken and Leslie Louis to manage UD+P projects from... Read More →
avatar for Eli Spevak

Eli Spevak

Architect, Orange Splot Development
Eli Spevak has been developing affordable housing communities in Oregon for 25 years, starting as a volunteer construction supervisor with Habitat for Humanity. In 2006, he launched Orange Splot, LLC to build new models of community-oriented, affordable, green housing development... Read More →
avatar for Joe Wykowski

Joe Wykowski

Portland, OR, Community Vision
Joe Wykowski is the Executive Director of Community Vision in Portland Oregon, a person centered organization providing individual supports to over eighty individuals and families. For five consecutive years Community Vision has been recognized as one of the Best 100 Non-Profits to... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Galleria II

9:00am

Strengthening Community Bonds through Sharing Circles
Sharing Circles are a highly effective activity for strengthening community bonds. In this session, we will experience a Sharing Circle together, and we will explore the many ways the Sharing Circle format can be used in small and large-group settings to expand our interpersonal connections and deepen our sense of community.

Speakers
avatar for Joe Cole

Joe Cole

As a Facilitator and Consultant, Joe Cole supports communities and non-profit organizations in developing cooperative skills, collaborative governance, and conflict transformation.  Joe has a PhD in Philosophy, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Council

11:00am

How to Build a Great team
While the magic of cohousing is the unique social contract created within the community, it begins fundamentally as a real estate development project. However, most people don’t decide to live in cohousing because they want to be a developer, and most potential cohousers have never managed a development project.

Creating a cohousing community is a complex yet ordered process that requires a strong collaborative team effort. Understanding the process is an important first step. Knowing who needs to be on your team throughout the process is equally important.

Speakers
avatar for Jayni Allsep

Jayni Allsep

Allsep Planning
Jayni Allsep  is recognized as an experienced planner with strong problem-solving skills. She has over 25 years of project management and professional planning experience with public and private sector clients in California, and she has served as planning consultant for several... Read More →
avatar for Linda Herman

Linda Herman

Principal/Owner, LInda Herman Consulting
Linda Herman is the principal and owner of Linda Herman Consulting, a project management and development consulting firm that provides the expertise to plan and manage real estate development projects. LHC has  completed a 41 unit co-housing project for active adults in Oakland... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm
Galleria I

11:00am

Introduction to Sociocracy for Cohousing
An introduction to Sociocracy, an especially effective self-governance and decision-making method for people building, living in, or maintaining cohousing communities. Topics include: 
   (1) A Sociocracy Overview Mindmap with colorful, evocative graphics to helppeople get a big-picture view of Sociocrasy relatively quickly.
   (2) A presentation about and hands-on exericses to demonstrate using feedback loops in proposals. This means including questions to later measure and evaluate the proposal after it's implemented. This apect of Sociocracy, which helps groups feel confident in trying out ideas and proposals, can be used by cohousing communities that don't use Sociocracy, if they use one of the modified forms of consensus other than classic, traditional consensus.
        Diana Leafe Christian is a longtime Sociocracy trainer for intentional communities, and author of the book, Creating a Life Together.

Speakers
avatar for Diana Leafe Christian

Diana Leafe Christian

Diana Leafe Christian, Workshops & Consultants
Diana Leafe Christian is author of Creating a Life Together, about forming successful cohousing communities and other kinds of intentional communities, and Finding Community. She speaks at cohousing and ecovillage conferences, offers consultations, and leads workshops internationally... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm
Galleria II

11:00am

Market Your Community Story to People You Want
Starting a Community? Need to attract future buyers? This workshop will teach you how to define your community markets with a good story and get out your message inexpensively with traditional and social media.

Speakers
avatar for Alan O'Hashi

Alan O'Hashi

Whole Brain Thinker and General Do-Gooder, Boulder Community Media (BCM)
Alan O'Hashi spreads his storytelling methods to help communities target people they want through the power of story. After getting laid off a job after 9/11, the risk-taker decided to work for himself and make movies. He melded what he learned as a nonprofit development director... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm
Council

11:00am

The Loneliness Epidemic and What to Do About It
This lecture will include human needs for interaction, support, and sense of belonging and the dangers of social isolation. Both theory and current research will be highlighted as it relates to social and physical well being.

Speakers
avatar for Matthew Hicks

Matthew Hicks

Matthew Hicks ND, MS is a physician at an integrative mental health clinic in Portland, Oregon. He has a long standing interest in helping people achieve their best mental, emotional, and physical health, and believes that community is an important ingredient. He completed a master... Read More →


Saturday June 1, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm
Executive

1:30pm

Cohousing Unit Design
What is the typical range of size and type of housing units in cohousing communities? Do certain layouts work better in cohousing? How do you support community at the front door and privacy within the house? What about healthy, green materials? To answer these questions, Laura will show examples from many communities (urban and rural). Then, we will have an open discussion about unit design with Laura answering questions from both the perspective of her experience as a cohousing architect and 25 years living in a small standard cohousing unit.

Speakers
avatar for Laura Fitch

Laura Fitch

Principal Architect, Fitch Architecture & Community Design
Laura Fitch is a founding principal of Fitch Architecture & Community Design in Amherst, Massachusetts and a 24-year resident of Pioneer Valley Cohousing.  Fitch specializes in energy-efficient building design for homes, commercial properties, and smart growth communities.   She... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Galleria I

1:30pm

Financing your Cohousing Development
Understanding the basics of real estate financing and how communities finance their developments.

Speakers
avatar for Jim Leach

Jim Leach

CohoUS Board VP, Wonderland Hill Development Company
Jim Leach is president of Wonderland Hill Development Company and has lead the company in developing over 20 cohousing communities in the Colorado, California, Arizona, and Washington. He is a builder with over 50 years of experience in the design, construction and development of... Read More →
avatar for Katie McCamant

Katie McCamant

Architect, Author, CoHousing Solutions
Katie McCamant brings the depth and diversity of her 30+ years of experience as an architect, developer, and cohousing resident to her clients. She is coauthor of Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, the authoritative book which introduced cohousing to the English... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Parlors A&B

1:30pm

Integrating New Members
Whether your community has lived together for 20 years or is just now hiring an architect, you will have the opportunity for welcome new members. Integrating them into your group takes time and intention, but in the end how much you do may matter less than doing the right things. This session will guide you in creating a welcome and orientation process that targets your efforts on the most effective practices.

Speakers
avatar for Karen Gimnig

Karen Gimnig

CohoUS Staff, Cohousing Facilitator
Karen Gimnig supports communities in building richer relationships as the foundation for effective process and collaborative living.  Connected communities need safe spaces, strong relationship skills and authentic communication. Karen guides communities to: Engage conflict productively... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Council

1:30pm

Promoting Your Community with a Digital Tool Box
Learn what makes an engaging website, how to do an E-Newsletter that will inspire and want people to know more about your forming group, how to use Facebook as a great marketing tool, and other proven ways you can use the internet to promote your community.

Speakers
avatar for Sean Morris

Sean Morris

Sean Morris is an affiliate of Kathryn McCamant’s 500 Communities Program – a initiative to equip the next generation of cohousing professionals with the skills to get cohousing built. Sean is a economist with a background in database management and data science. Before joining... Read More →
avatar for Shelly Parks

Shelly Parks

CoVision Consulting
Shelly Parks spent a career leading professional sales and marketing teams in retirement living start-ups. In 2017, she founded CoVision Consulting to share her skills and knowledge with forming and developing cohousing groups.  As Shelly partners with groups, her goal is to always... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Executive

3:30pm

If You Market, They Will Come: Essential Tools for Sales and Marketing
This session will be an overview of several Client Relations Management (CRM) platforms that will help you collect, store, and access information about new members to engage them as effectively as possible.

Speakers
avatar for Sean Morris

Sean Morris

Sean Morris is an affiliate of Kathryn McCamant’s 500 Communities Program – a initiative to equip the next generation of cohousing professionals with the skills to get cohousing built. Sean is a economist with a background in database management and data science. Before joining... Read More →


Saturday June 1, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Galleria III

3:30pm

Options and Upgrade Programs
How your community can get the highest value out of your construction team. So many people don’t understand how they can best support the construction of their communities and end up spending money and time in a way that is detrimental to their goals. Heavy on specific details about how to organize your options program and organize your group to get the best out of your team.

Speakers
avatar for Katie McCamant

Katie McCamant

Architect, Author, CoHousing Solutions
Katie McCamant brings the depth and diversity of her 30+ years of experience as an architect, developer, and cohousing resident to her clients. She is coauthor of Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, the authoritative book which introduced cohousing to the English... Read More →


Saturday June 1, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Parlors A&B

3:30pm

PANEL : Forming, Building, Built: How 3 Urban Communities are Making City Cohousing Work
Panelists from three different Urban Communities (Our Urban Village, Capitol Hill Cohousing and Driftwood Cohousing) present some concepts as to what they did to make city cohousing work so successfully. Hear about the challenges (and benefits) of urban cohousing, as well as the three different approaches these cohousing groups took to make the real estate development feasible.

Moderators
avatar for Kathy Sayers

Kathy Sayers

Our Urban Village
Kathy spent most of her professional career working in communications, first as the owner of her own company, then in medical research at a major hospital.  Having moved every two years as a child, she had a longing for deep roots and cohousing caught her imagination. She and three... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Mike Mariano

Mike Mariano

partner, schemata workshop | architecture and urban design
Mike Mariano is a founding principal of the practice, an architect with a passion for design and resilient communities. He understands the complexity of the development process, and in the studio provides thoughtful design leadership for high-performance buildings and neighborhoods... Read More →
avatar for Mackenzie Stonehocker

Mackenzie Stonehocker

Hive & House Consulting
Mackenzie Stonehocker is a founding partner of Hive & House Consulting, as well as a burning soul for Driftwood Village Cohousing in North Vancouver, British Columbia.  As a Registered Professional Planner with a Masters in Environmental Design, she builds more resilient urban communities... Read More →



Saturday June 1, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Galleria I
 
Sunday, June 2
 

9:00am

Marketing a New Senior Housing Project
PDX Commons in Portland, OR conceived, designed, and successfully marketed a 27-home senior cohousing development in only four years. Hear from those who did it: how they sold out before the doors even opened. Lessons for future communities, senior or not.

Speakers
avatar for Susan Fries

Susan Fries

PDX Commons
Susan Fries is a co-founder and Membership Coordinator of PDX Commons, a 55+ cohousing community in Portland OR. She had previously thrived while living in an cooperative house in graduate school, so when it was time to downsize, cohousing was the perfect choice. Begun in 2013, with... Read More →
avatar for Jim Swenson

Jim Swenson

PDX Commons
Jim Swenson had a career in communications: a journalist, filmmaker, media producer, writer, director, communications manager. Jim was responsible for developing communications and outreach campaigns for several government entities, non-profits and private sector enterprises.  Jim... Read More →



Sunday June 2, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Studio

9:00am

Planning and Designing for Urban Cohousing
Using two recently completed urban cohousing communities as case studies, the audience will gain an understanding of how the intentional actions of individuals acting in consensus of the group successfully created a resilient urban community and new home. Comparing and contrasting the two paths through urban community building, design, financing, and design the attendees will see the hurdles and successes of each project.

Speakers
avatar for Joren Bass

Joren Bass

Senor Development Manager, UD+P
A “boots on the ground architect,” Joren is every bit as comfortable and capable with a pencil or computer as with a framing hammer in hand. Adept at managing every phase of the building process, Joren collaborates with Avi Ben-Zaken and Leslie Louis to manage UD+P projects from... Read More →
avatar for Mike Mariano

Mike Mariano

partner, schemata workshop | architecture and urban design
Mike Mariano is a founding principal of the practice, an architect with a passion for design and resilient communities. He understands the complexity of the development process, and in the studio provides thoughtful design leadership for high-performance buildings and neighborhoods... Read More →



Sunday June 2, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Broadway II

9:00am

Understanding Zoning Codes To Find a Site Efficiently
As we work with forming communities around the country, one of their largest hurdles is finding a site. This session is meant to give you tools for evaluating the feasibility of a piece of property quickly and technically, so you can make clear headed decisions.

Speakers
avatar for Bryan Bowen

Bryan Bowen

Caddis PC
Bryan Bowen is an architect dedicated to the design of buildings and neighborhoods that explore how we may live more lightly upon our earth in beautiful and healthy environments. Bryan's niche is cohousing, though his work includes single-family homes, affordable housing, mixed-use... Read More →


Sunday June 2, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Directors

9:00am

When the Developer Leads the Way
As groups form to create a cohousing community, a big question to answer is - do you need a developer? And a separate but related question is - can you build a successful cohousing community if the project is initiated and developed by a developer, not the community? In this session, we will examine 3 different cohousing project scenarios in which developers were involved to answer these questions.

Speakers
avatar for Eric Cress

Eric Cress

Principal, UD+P
An engineer and designer by training, Eric is drawn to innovative new ideas that make our communities better places to live. At UD+P, Eric concentrates on acquisition, development, and finance. He oversees budgets and the acquisition-to-construction phase of new projects.Before UD+P... Read More →
avatar for Linda Herman

Linda Herman

Principal/Owner, LInda Herman Consulting
Linda Herman is the principal and owner of Linda Herman Consulting, a project management and development consulting firm that provides the expertise to plan and manage real estate development projects. LHC has  completed a 41 unit co-housing project for active adults in Oakland... Read More →
avatar for Jim Leach

Jim Leach

CohoUS Board VP, Wonderland Hill Development Company
Jim Leach is president of Wonderland Hill Development Company and has lead the company in developing over 20 cohousing communities in the Colorado, California, Arizona, and Washington. He is a builder with over 50 years of experience in the design, construction and development of... Read More →



Sunday June 2, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Galleria III

11:00am

PANEL - Getting the Most Out of Your Professionals
It starts as a love fest but ends in a fight over fees. What happened? During this session panelists will share key lessons from their collective experiences managing cohousing developments including: How a group can work most effectively with their professionals. What professionals will your group need to get your project built? How can you help get the highest value out of their work, and they don’t go broke.

Speakers
avatar for Joren Bass

Joren Bass

Senor Development Manager, UD+P
A “boots on the ground architect,” Joren is every bit as comfortable and capable with a pencil or computer as with a framing hammer in hand. Adept at managing every phase of the building process, Joren collaborates with Avi Ben-Zaken and Leslie Louis to manage UD+P projects from... Read More →
avatar for Mike Mariano

Mike Mariano

partner, schemata workshop | architecture and urban design
Mike Mariano is a founding principal of the practice, an architect with a passion for design and resilient communities. He understands the complexity of the development process, and in the studio provides thoughtful design leadership for high-performance buildings and neighborhoods... Read More →
avatar for Katie McCamant

Katie McCamant

Architect, Author, CoHousing Solutions
Katie McCamant brings the depth and diversity of her 30+ years of experience as an architect, developer, and cohousing resident to her clients. She is coauthor of Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, the authoritative book which introduced cohousing to the English... Read More →



Sunday June 2, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm
Galleria II

11:00am

PANEL - WheelChairs, Neurodiversity, and Hearing Aids, Oh My!
Seeking to be more diverse? Need help understanding people with special needs in your community? Still looking for people to purchase homes in your community? The largest minority in our country, citizens with disabilities, are often the most invisible. Join us to explore the symbiosis of intentional *neurodiversity in cohousing.

*Neurodiversity is the diversity of cognitive function; inclusing intellectual and developmental disability, dementia, Alzheimer, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, mental health, etc...

Speakers
avatar for Alicia DeLashmutt

Alicia DeLashmutt

Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative
The Founding Neighbor of Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative, Alicia has over 16 years of community involvement as a disability inclusion and housing advocate. She is the proud mother of a fabulous and strong-willed teenage girl who experiences complex disabilities. Her daughter... Read More →
avatar for Desiree Kameka

Desiree Kameka

Autism Housing Network
Ms. Kameka’s work is focused on researching housing models, advocating on issues of autism in adulthood and is a recognized disability housing expert and keynote speaker. Ms. Kameka is cited in media outlets such as The Atlantic, Rolling Stone Magazine, NPR and ABC News. She has... Read More →
avatar for Joe Wykowski

Joe Wykowski

Portland, OR, Community Vision
Joe Wykowski is the Executive Director of Community Vision in Portland Oregon, a person centered organization providing individual supports to over eighty individuals and families. For five consecutive years Community Vision has been recognized as one of the Best 100 Non-Profits to... Read More →


Sunday June 2, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm
Executive

11:00am

PANEL: Sustainability
A panel about how to build Cohousing sustainably & how sustainability relates to creating community and aging in place.

Moderators
avatar for Michael Royce

Michael Royce

Ankeny Row
Michael co-authored Sustainable Homes for the 21st Century. He is a retired lawyer, renewable energy company owner and founder of Green Empowerment, an organization promoting renewable energy and sustainable development in Asia, Latin America and Africa.  Facebook... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Alex Boetzel

Alex Boetzel

Director of Operations and Sustainability, Green Hammer
With over 25 years of experience in construction and building science, Alex Boetzel is a Certified Passive House Consultant and has consulted on dozens of LEED, Passivhaus, high-performance and zero energy projects in the US as well as in Europe. He plans and executes Green Hammer’s... Read More →
avatar for Erica Dunn

Erica Dunn

Director of Design, Green Hammer
Erica is an award-winning architect who has designed five net-zero energy homes, two net-zero energy pocket neighborhoods, and the Living Building Certified Tasting Room at Cowhorn. She has served on the Portland chapter of the AIA's Board of Directors and been a Co-Chair for the... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Jane Nichols

Dr. Jane Nichols

Department Chair/Professor, High Point University
Dr. Jane L. Nichols is an associate professor and department chair of interior architecture/design at High Point University. Nichols earned a PhD in Sustainability Education from Prescott College, a MSD and MA from Arizona State University, and a BA from Governor’s State University... Read More →



Sunday June 2, 2019 11:00am - 12:30pm
Broadway I