Building Community With Cohousing

Developers and buyers create new models for housing that hold the promise of a more environmentally friendly, connected, and multigenerational way of living.

1 minute read

May 10, 2023, 10:00 AM PDT

By bwidness

Three-story apartment buildings in Takoma Village, a cohousing complex in Washington, D.C.

Takoma Village cohousing in Northwest Washington, D.C. | Takoma Village / Takoma Village, Washington, D.C.

Cohousing joins coliving, microhousing, accessory dwelling units, and other housing innovations that are meeting the evolving needs of individuals and families. Escalating housing prices, concerns about climate change, and a growing sense of loneliness and isolation are pushing people to reconsider how and where they live.

The residences of Takoma Village, located in Northwest Washington, D.C., flank a small common green that is open to the street. No fence separates the 43-home cohousing development from the single-family and commercial buildings that surround it.

“All of this was intentional,” longtime resident Alicia George says. “We wanted to be good neighbors.”

Being a good neighbor and living in community are essential values for people who choose cohousing projects like Takoma Village. In addition to the village green, the 1.4-acre (0.5 ha) development is anchored by a common house with a large communal kitchen and dining room, a children’s playroom, a cozy living room with a television and a bookcase full of puzzles, and a workshop. The 43 residential units range from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom townhouses. Completed in 2001, Takoma Village is the only cohousing project in D.C. In addition to other residences, it is adjacent to a juice bar, coffee shop, and community theater.

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