Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
What is cohousing? 

According to Wikipedia, “A cohousing 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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

How big is your cohousing community?  

N Street Cohousing comprises 19 houses with approximately 50 residents. Of those residents, approximately 30 are dues-paying members. Many residents of the larger neighborhood also participate in meals and other events frequently. There are about six units per acre.

What is the age range of your residents?  

We are a diverse community with residents ranging in age from babies to seniors.

How many children live at N Street Cohousing? 

As of January 2022 there are six children who live in the community. They range in age from toddlers to high schoolers. The total number of children changes over time as they grow up and as new families move in.

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. Community members who eat community meals regularly are expected to cook one with a partner once a month or every ten meals eaten. 

Otherwise there are two monthly tasks households take turns doing: 1) scheduling and taking notes at the community meeting, and 2) scheduling and providing food and refreshments for our Common House clean-up. Because there are ~18 houses, you only have to do each chore roughly every year and a half.

How do community meals work? 

Meals are most often served at 6:30pm and happen 1 or more times a week, depending on what days members have signed up to cook. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we usually had 20-40 diners at each meal with 2 or 3 people at a time doing the cooking. Common meals were on pause for about a year and started back up again at a smaller scale in mid-2021. We have adapted by eating outdoors, with smaller numbers of diners (usually 12-24) spaced out on the patio.

But meal logistics are the same: 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?!). Many community members have home gardens or work at farms where we are able to source surplus/blemished produce for free to save costs and reduce food waste. Eaters pay up right before we fill our plates up so that the cooks are reimbursed by the end of the meal. 

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.

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
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. 

How do I apply to live at N Street Cohousing?  

If you are interested in living at N Street Cohousing, you can fill out our on-line application form. If there is an opening, someone will get in touch with you.

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. 

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, pets, 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.

How much are community dues? 

Community dues are on a sliding scale of $25-$45 per month. Waivers are available to people for whom this is a hardship.