HOW A COHOUSING COMMUNITY TIGHTENS CONNECTIONS BETWEEN RESIDENTS WITH DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS — LESSONS FROM #COHOCON2019

The recent CohoCon (National Cohousing Conference) brought together cohousing residents, architects, builders, and consultants to talk about the present and future states of the industry. We were so inspired by all of the different people we met throughout the event, that we wanted to bring back some of their insights. Over the next few weeks, look out for videos from the conference both here and on our social media pages.  

We interviewed Mackenzie Stonehocker, a founding member at Driftwood, who is dedicated to recruiting residents of different ages and backgrounds to help them fit into cohousing communities. 

We ask Mackenzie: How do you foster tighter connections between cohousers with different  backgrounds?

HOW A COHOUSING COMMUNITY HELPS MUTIGENERATIONAL PEOPLE TO BOND SOCIALLY AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER

The following is a transcript of our interview with Mackenzie, lightly edited for clarity.

My name's Mackenzie Stonehocker and I'm one of the founding members of Driftwood Village Cohousing, which is going to be in North Vancouver, Canada.

The Community Makeup of Driftwood Village Cohousing

Our community has 27 units, and it's about a half and half split between couples with children and young couples without children, single people. And about 50% older people, retirees, downsizing people.

How are you recruiting different families and bonding the group members?

We've been recruiting families since the very beginning and we've done that through mainly making sure that our meetings and events are family friendly. So, when it's social, usually it's something that people with kids can come to, or it's something that's very clearly not going to work for kids, and so then they get to leave their kids at home, which is great.

And for all of our monthly general meetings, we provide childcare and the community pays for that. We also do a lot of things together with the families, and the kids get to know each other by hanging out during the meetings. But it's not just a demographic, people clumping together by age. One thing that we've been doing now, this is our third annual camping trip coming up in summer, and that's a way that all the people who are interested in camping together, they go together for that. Some of the families with kids, but not all of them.

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Cohousing is a wonderful way to bring together different generations; to learn more, click here for a blog post about cohousing as an alternative form of housing for active seniors.