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An Introduction to Cohousing

Fair Oaks EcoHousing offers a balance of privacy and community. EcoHousing, a type of cohousing community with a strong green focus, combines private homes with extensive community facilities to create neighborhoods that address the needs of singles, working parents and seniors. By combining private homes with a shared clubhouse and garden, residents experience the feeling of a small village where neighbors know and care about each other.

We invite you to peruse the websites of our fabulous developers for a wealth of cohousing resources:

Charles Durrett - The Cohousing Company.

Katie McCamant - CoHousing Solutions

And look at the website of the Cohousing Association of the United States, a national association supporting cohousing communities, for all kinds of information about living in cohousing. 

EcoHousing Introduction: Service

Understanding Cohousing - A Special Kind of Real Estate

By Mary Claus | August 8th, 2016

Just as a home is more than a house, cohousing homes are more than condominiums. To the people who create them, cohousing is an active and involved community of neighbors who know and care about each other.

Operating under the normal rules of real estate condominium law, cohousing is a special type of development that has grown over the past 25 years to over 160 communities nationwide, with eight in the Sacramento region. Cohousing communities can be urban, suburban, or rural; new construction or repurposed; modern or traditional in appearance, but they generally share certain key characteristics:


Wondering if Cohousing is for you?

Start finding out by taking this questionnaire! If you can answer "yes" to 10 or more questions, you would likely enjoy living at Fair Oaks Ecohousing.

1. Do you like the idea of getting to know your neighbors as friends?
2. Do you want to be part of a “green” community, dedicated to reducing its environmental impact?
3. Do you like the idea of a common house where community meals take place, workshops and classes are held, and guest rooms are available for visits from family and friends.
4. Are you ready for a home with a smaller footprint, knowing that you will gain space from community areas in the common house and gardens?


Faces not Fenders: 5 Reasons To Consider Joining a Cohousing Community

By Mary Claus, October 2016

Just as a home is more than its walls and windows, cohousing homes are more than standard condos. To the people who create, join and live cohousing communities, they join an active and involved community of neighbors who know and care about each other and together live more consciously of one another and the earth. Cohousing has grown over the past 25 years to over 160 communities nationwide and the communities range from urban, suburban, or rural; new construction or repurposed; senior-specific or intergenerational. Successful communities generally share 5 key characteristics that may tempt you to consider a cohousing community for your next move.

A core value of cohousing is environmental sustainability. This is reflected in preserved open space, in utilizing green building materials and techniques, minimizing the intrusion of cars, and the prevalence of community renewable energy systems. The sense of community created in these neighborhoods is the secret ingredient of sustainability, enabling people to have a collective impact, being good stewards together with their neighbors. Such a lively neighborhood means residents can socialize close to home, and parents can reduce the endless back-and-forth of shuttling their kids to playdates.


Living in Cohousing


With over 160 cohousing communities nationwide, there are many stories of life in the communities.


Kids in Cohousing

Fair Oaks, CA is a very kid-friendly area, with many activities to keep children of any age busy. Everything from the Art Box Studio in Fair Oaks to Busy Kidz Museum in Folsom to kids arts festivals and a variety of camps, sports leagues and parks to play in.

We warmly welcome families and kids to attend any of our potlucks or tours!


"Modern Housing with Village Virtues"

by Courtney E. Martin, New York Times, September 20, 2016

Working families in the United States have many struggles today: expensive child care, not enough time to cook healthy meals, disconnection from nature, a sense of social isolation — what the sociologist Robert Putnam famously called “bowling alone” — and more. Older Americans, a booming population, often end up segregated generationally and in dire need of care and companionship.

What if there was a potential salve to all of these struggles? One that was introduced to Americans 25 years ago, but hasn’t yet gone to scale?

That potential solution is cohousing, a form of shared living in which groups of families with their own private homes (usually about 15 to 40 households) also share common spaces — a kitchen and eating area, often a garden, tool shed, or laundry facilities, or all of them, and a set of principles and practices about living interdependently.


Cohousing Videos


Cohousing kids and adults as well as local TV news stations have produced videos showing life in cohousing.

EcoHousing Introduction: Service
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