Frequently Asked 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. Units are privately owned at Watershed 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.
Will I have my own kitchen?
Yes. All six units are fully self-contained apartments.
What is "common area"?
Common areas are spaces for activities that are shared among all members. Watershed will have a yoga studio, music room, art space, storage spaces. More may be created as the project evolves.
What if I am an introvert – will I have private time in cohousing?
Certainly! Many people who are drawn to cohousing are introverts who value their alone time but still wish to live in community. Each unit is separate and private.
Are there "chores” that residents are expected to perform?
Residents would be expected to take responsibility to maintain the common spaces and resources, such as the common passageways, storage areas and studio spaces. Such chores would likely not consume a lot of time if divided among all residents.
How do common meals work in cohousing?
This will be up to the residents, once the build is complete. One possibility is a once-a-week pot-luck or a dinner prepared collaboratively in one of the member’s kitchen. It would be an opportunity to stay connected with the other residents and chat informally.
How will the households make decisions together?
This is also a question that will be addressed once the community is complete. We anticipate using some form sociocracy model. But again, this itself will be open to discussion.
Are there advantages to joining right away?
Since there are only six units in total and, as of this writing, a lot of interest, there is definitely an advantage to joining as soon as possible! UPDATE: As of June 23, 2021, all six of the Watershed units are now "spoken for". There is always the possibility that this situation could change, so we have established a waitlist. To be added, please contact us through the web form on the Home Page.
Will I have privacy?
Yes. As mentioned, each unit is self-contained and has its own entrance.
How large are these communities and what kinds of people live there?
Cohousing communities can be as small as three or four families, or as large as fifty or sixty. Watershed is comprised of six independent residential units. Each is about 1000 square feet, enough for a small family.
What about safety and security?
The Watershed build is designed with safety and security in mind. Access will be controlled and limited to residents and guests. The structure itself will be constructed of non-combustible materials, a fire alarm system is provided, emergency power is available in the event of a prolonged outage, and if necessary, water can be filtered from from rainwater harvesting. It is planned that there will be emergency supplies for residents in basement storage areas.
How is ownership legally structured?
Unit ownership is based for the first year as rental and which will then be converted to the established condominium model.
What is it going to cost?
Recently the housing market has been very volatile, with construction costs and interest rates climbing sharply. With that in mind, the unit prices are yet to be finalized, but we expect them to be in the $600,000 range.
How long will it take?
Construction began in mid-June, 2021 with occupancy granted on November 1, 2022.
Will children be welcome?
Will pets be welcome?
Yes. Three of the six residents have dogs!
Who designed Watershed?
The Watershed Cohousing build was designed by architect J. David McAuley, who is also a Watershed member. David is trained in sustainable, low-impact building design and passifhaus (passive house) design. Watershed Cohousing is designed to be sustainable, with a very low environmental footprint and a high degree of safety and security.
Can I rent my unit after completion?
This will be determined by the membership.
Do cohousing groups have religious or political affiliations?
Some do, some don’t. Watershed has no political or religious affiliation. That said, the demographic of people who are interested in cooperative living does seem to tend toward a progressive/left-leaning mindset.
Feel free to ask further questions through our contact form.