What’s the process for forming a Cohousing community? 

Because they’re unconventional in an American context, cohousing & coliving projects are not about speed. Below is an overview of the process we’ve seen the most success with:

  1. Form an organizing group.
  2. Identify your criteria for selecting a property.
  3. Search for property.
  4. Place property under contract & vet its feasiblity with professionals (see post on who that includes here).
  5. Begin design process.
  6. Seek planning approval for preliminary design (this may involve other authorities).
  7. Finalize design decisions.
  8. Create construction documents.
  9. Secure construction loan.
  10. Submit for building permit & negotiate construction contract.
  11. Build it.
  12. Move in!

You may be thinking: that’s a lot of steps! On the bright side, there are nearly 200 cohousing communities in the US, and a network of professionals who can assist you. 
Thanks to Katie McCamant for distilling this complex process into twelve steps!

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