We are a multi-generational community of people from all sorts of backgrounds who have come together to develop the first ever cohousing community in Houston, Texas.
We own land in the East End near parks, bike trails, and the light rail. Our plans include a Common House and private homes surrounding a common green. We are wrapping up the physical design phase and turning our attention to filling the remaining homes and building our community.
We make decisions as a group using consensus which is a process committed to finding solutions that everyone actively supports.
What is cohousing
A neighborhood that integrates green design with a social, supportive community life. Neighbors know one another. They have worked with an architect to design their dream environment and to tread lightly on the earth.
Cohousing communities consist of private, fully-equipped dwellings and extensive common amenities including a common house and recreation areas. The common house is the very heart of a cohousing community. It provides a place for community activities such as common dinners, and numerous other organized formal and informal activities.
Residents are involved early in the design and development phases so that the community reflects their priorities. Residents live in a close-knit neighborhood that seeks a healthy blend of privacy and community.
Meet some of your future neighbors, the core group who has helped get our idea of building community off the ground and running!
Click on their picture to read their bio.
A third generation Ohio State Buckeye. Born and raised in upstate New York. After a diverse architectural career and a family life, he joined the City of Houston to educate the public about green building and ‘sustainable development’.
The middle of 8 kids although he is special because he is an identical twin and was blessed to grow up in a small house with an idyllic, close, fun family. He excelled at drawing Mickey, Goofy, the 7 Dwarves and more and always wanted to be a Disney Illustrator which is why he got a degree in Chemical Engineering!
How many households will there be?
What if I don’t like all of my neighbors?
Well, don’t be surprised. It would be difficult to expect to like every single person in a group of 33 households. There will naturally be some people with whom you get along better than others. But when that person who slightly annoys you picks you up at the airport or helps your daughter with her calculus homework, he or she might suddenly not seem so bad. You may even grow to like people whom you had earlier judged poorly. Some say that cohousing is the biggest personal growth experience you’ll ever have.
Will I have my own kitchen?
This is one of the single most frequently asked questions of cohousing enthusiasts. Yes, each residence has a fully equipped, private kitchen. And, every cohousing community does have a common kitchen. Community meals are usually prepared and served in the common house at a frequency agreed by the community. This may range from two to three times a week, to much less frequent. We have not yet agreed what our frequency will be.
If I buy a home and decide to sell later, how would this work?
Legally, we will be a condominium association. So you would sell your home just like you would sell any other condo, except that we would want to educate any potential buyer about cohousing and the shared intention to get to know one’s neighbors. As the owner, you would decide on price, and terms.
What about safety and security?
Because we’ll know all our neighbors, we’ll have an excellent neighborhood watch system built into our community, as someone who does not belong there is very easily recognized. If your child falls off a swing while out of your line of site, surely another adult will be there to pick them up. If you are ill and cannot make it to the store, your neighbors will be there to bring you a cup of soup. There will be more than one person to watch out for the property of an absent resident. “All eyes on the common areas” means that even in an urban area, many cohousers will feel comfortable leaving their front doors unlocked when they go to the common house to pick up laundry, and won’t require that their community be accessible only through a locked gate.
Who owns the land?
As with any condominium association, the land is owned on a pro-rata basis by each homeowner.
Will there be fees for upkeep of the shared spaces, something like an HOA? How much will the HOA fee be?
We will establish a Home Owners' Association (HOA) as the organizing legal structure, which will determine the rules, regulations and fees. The HOA terms and fees are defined by the community through consensus, which ensures that each member household has input. See More about the HOA for more details.