Gratitude for those moments of joy & laughter
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Informing & building community around cohousing

December 2021

Save the date! | Wed., Feb. 9, 2022

Strategies and case studies for affordable cohousing from the national conference last fall; a free program of highlights you won't want to miss. Sign up now so you won't forget!


A pause to reflect

Despite the devastation and suffering, the grieving we have done, this year still has been a year that bore some gifts and provided hope for a better world.

With you here on this journey with us--as an interested observer with similar visions--we feel less alone.

Years ago, when my first child was kindergarten age, she and I showed up for an introductory scout meeting for little kids and their parents. While the children were entertained in another room nearby, the local lead volunteer spoke to the parents about a myriad of benefits kids get when they participate in scouts.

It sounded good, so beneficial. Then out of the blue came an unexpected call to action.

confer branches with fresh snow

"...And if we're going to have enough troops for all the kids who want to sign up, we need you to step up and become a leader."

Oh my gosh! I'm an introvert, the voice in my head said in alarm. Me? Lead? It felt a little bit like bait and switch--I'd been hoping that I could gain a few hours a week for myself. The fight-or-flight response said, "Quick! Run away!"

Peer pressure, though, kept me planted in my seat.

Other parents must have felt the same way. We were all sneaking slightly panicked side-eye glances at each other--is this for real? There were some under the breath remarks, and murmuring in the room. Do we really have to step up and DO something to provide all these benefits to our kids? I can't do that!

As if reading our minds, the presenter assured us that most leaders felt uneasy and uncertain like this at the beginning. Our upbringing may not have told us we could lead, but the potential is in each of us to lead in our own way. We were assured that training and ongoing support would be ours, and that it was an opportunity not only for community service, but personal growth as well. Then they passed out the forms.

Shaking a little, I signed up. A decade later, I received my ten-year service pin, and felt grateful to have been given the opportunity and encouragement to meet and get to know so many other parents and their kids. The experiences? Priceless.

Whichever scouting program you may be familiar with, it offers a set of aspirational values and the support for personal growth in acting in accordance with them.

Participating in Twin Cities Cohousing Network is a little like that. Learning new skills, sharing ideas, doing things in a group. In fact, it's a little like cohousing, itself.

If you're interested in trying out using Sociocracy for group governance, if you'd like to meet and get to know a few new people, if you'd like to co-create and act to strive to bring some new housing communities into being, we invite you to step up and get involved.

We sense that you're out there, and that bolsters our resolve to support creation of housing communities that tend to body, mind and heart while being accessible and affordable.

Wouldn't that take a small army? It might. Maybe that's where you come in.

No one knows what's going to happen with the ongoing pandemic. Stemming the isolation that most of us have been feeling, getting into multi-generational dialog, entering partnerships in authentic community interaction--we don't have to fly halfway around the world and climb Mount Everest to challenge ourselves.

The work to create more housing, slow climate change on our planet and build a world in which justice reigns is right here, and it continues. There are so many ways to get involved, to make a difference, to delight in all that being in community means. In what areas do you shine?

As we move into 2022, please consider setting aside some time to get involved with Twin Cities Cohousing Network. We offer remote ways to participate via Zoom. Your investment of time will boost the possibilities for valuable outcomes from our all-volunteer organization.

Thank you, and all the best to you in the new year. 

Twin Cities Cohousing Network is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.


Strategic planning for 2022 activation

Shortened days of winter are a great time to review, reorganize and lay groundwork, and TCCN is no different. 

Watch for upcoming news about strategic initiatives that the board will be rolling out in the new year, starting with the program on February 9th.

Thank you for your interest and support to keep us going as we work a long-term strategy for increasing home ownership opportunities, including affordable housing.

Recordings available - sessions from the CohousingUS Affordable Cohousing one-day conference

If you'd like to view the sessions from the recent national one-day conference, it's not too late to pay the registration fee and access the recordings.

Christine Hernandez, Keynote

Housing as a Human Right: Can cohousing be a tool for justice?

Breakout session topics:
Economically Integrated Cohousing
Jim Leach, Katie McCamant, Bryan Bowen

Cohousing and Sustainability
Laura Fitch

Funding and Support Options for BIPOC Communities
Crystal Byrd Farmer

Innovations in Affordability
Betsy Morris

Creating Approaches for Affordability
Jim Leach, Katie McCamant, Bryan Bowen

Affordability by Design and Intention: Case Studies from Takoma Village Cohousing and Elderspirit Cohousing
Ann Zabaldo, Dene Peterson, Yoomie Ahn

Affordability and Aging: Reverse Mortgages & Community Support Funds
Raines Cohen

Building a pocket neighborhood in rural Oklahoma – Lessons learned
Ty Albright

Adding Affordabilities – case studies in affordable cohousing
Charles Durrett

Including auxiliary rental units in cohousing – Nyland’s experience
Robert Bruegel

Recognizing and Responding to Classism in Communities
Matt Stannard

Working affordably with Professionals and the Built Environment
Kristen Uitto & Stephen Eckert

Again, if you'd like to pay to access the recordings, here's the link.


New subscriber?

Welcome to all of our recent subscribers. FYI, here’s a link to an MPR News story about cohousing (4:32).

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Deadline for next TCCN News--January 8

If you've got an idea for TCCN News, or want to submit an article for consideration, please send an email to Deadline for the next issue is January 8, 2022. At this time, only original editorial content is considered--you must be the writer or own copyright of the work.

Ads are not accepted.

Items are selected according to Twin Cities Cohousing Network's mission and the communication circle's guidelines, and may be refused or edited. Ideally, an item would be 50-80 words in length, and include an image for which you have copyright ownership or written permission (license) to use.

Please include a contact name, email and/or phone number for us to reach you with questions, and also let us know if those or other contact means (e.g., Twitter handle) can be published with your piece in case a reader wishes to get more information.

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