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Frequently asked questions about our community.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. What is cohousing?
    According to Wikipedia, "A cohousing[1] 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 which may include cooking, dining, child care, gardening, and governance of the community." This means we have common areas shared and managed by our residents but our living areas are privately owned and maintained. 
  2. Are you a commune?
    Nope. In general, communes own property collectively and residents work together and/or share their income. All property is privately owned at N Street Cohousing, and we do not have a community enterprise or otherwise share income. 
  3. Do you share income? Is there a community enterprise? What do you share financially?
    No. We do not share income nor do we have a community enterprise.  But we do use the income from community dues to keep chickens, whose eggs we share, and grow garlic for community meals.
  4. Do you all share a single kitchen? 
    Yes and No. Every residence has its own kitchen, and in general our residents cook a majority of their meals in their own homes. However, we also have a community kitchen which we use for cooking community meals for each other. See below for more information on community meals.
  5. Can I have a pet in the community? Pets that do not go in the shared backyard space have no guidelines.  If your pet will be in the backyard there is a process through the pet committee.  This process is intended to occur prior to bringing the animal into shared space, aimed at protecting people, pet and wildlife.  Each household has their own preferences as well. Please contact the pet committee through the general form if you are planning to bring a pet to the community space.

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Questions specific to N Street Cohousing

  1. How big is your cohousing community? 
    N Street Cohousing is comprised of 19 houses. We have around sixty dues paying members. This number does not include children and community friends. There are about six units per acre.
  2. What is the age range of your residents? 
    We are a diverse community with residents that range in age from 65 years to less than a year old.  
  3. How many children live at N Street Cohousing?
    Currently there are eight children who live in the community. They range in age from first graders to high schoolers. The total number of children changes over time as they grow up and as new families move in.
  4. What are community members responsible for?
    There are several things that community members are expected to do. In general, community members must pay community dues and agree to follow our community principles. If a community member eats community meals regularly, he/she is expected to cook one with a partner once a month or every ten meals eaten. 
    Otherwise there are three monthly tasks households take turns doing: 1) scheduling and taking notes at the community meeting, 2) Scheduling and providing food and refreshments for our Common House clean-up, and 3) Feeding the chickens and keeping their coop clean. Because there are ~18 houses, you only have to do each chore roughly every year and a half.
  5. How do community meals work?
    Meals are most often served at 6:30pm and happen 2-4 times a week, depending on what days members have signed up to cook. We usually have 20-40 diners at each meal, so 2 or 3 people at a time do the cooking. Cooks make enough servings for everyone who signed up ahead of time, and they divide the cost of ingredients by the number of sign-ups. It's usually around $3 per plate, and rarely more than $5 (how great is that?!). We eaters pay up right before we fill our plates up so that the cooks are reimbursed by the end of the meal. 
  6.  How are shared common areas managed? 
     Backyards belong to the owners and are maintained by them. However, as a community we maintain the paths that run throughout the backyard.
     Our common house is maintained by monthly common house clean-ups. We also have a kitchen committee, which keeps the kitchen equipped with pots, pans and other essentials.
  7. Do any Republicans or conservatives live at N Street Cohousing? Is there a political affiliation?
    N Street Cohousing does not have an official political affiliation and we welcome people with diverse points of view. That being said, our community typically has attracted people with liberal viewpoints. 

Visiting and Living at N Street Cohousing

  1. How do I get a tour?  
    We would be happy to give you a tour of our community! However, we ask that you do not stop by unannounced. If you would like to visit, please contact us and let us know when you would like a tour and how many people you plan to bring. Our tours are given by community members who graciously volunteer their free time to share our community with you. 
  2. How do I apply to live at N Street Cohousing? 
    If you are interested in living at N street Cohousing, we have an on-line application form. If you are interested in buying a house, it may be useful to first read this page.
  3. How much do houses/rooms/apartments cost?
    Renting: The price of each room or house is determined by the landlord and existing tenants, but ranges from approximately $400-$800/bedroom. Bigger rooms are usually more expensive, and prices also reflect how many repairs and improvements a place has had over the last few decades.  
    Buying:  Houses come up for sale every few years, but they are almost always bought by current residents who are already renting here. The price of a house is dependent on the seller and the condition of the house. 
  4. How much are your community dues?
    Community dues are $25 per month. Waivers are available to people for whom this is a hardship.  
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