What we're about

Welcome! East Bay Cohousing is for people interested in intentional communities and creating ways of meeting our daily needs for shelter and livelihood through cooperative long-term relationships among peers.

We are a big tent for all manner of self-governing member-led "collaborative housing" communities, including housing cooperatives, student coops, collective and co-living households, as well as co-housing neighborhoods, urban and rural eco-villages, faith-based or service oriented, moshads, kibbutzes and income sharing communes! EBCOHO Members come from every county in the Bay Area, and other parts of the US and the world.

Check out the EBCOHO calendar and events descriptions, past and present, to see the range of events we produce or curate from among our members, friends, partners, friends, and movement allies for a more just, sustainable, and flourishing world. Look for socials, orientations, workshops, discussions, slide shows, movie nights, open houses, work-days, trainings, tours, and conferences.

Explore the Discussion Forums to post and search for openings, forming groups, call-outs from Members, and other features.

Orientations for newcomers are usually offered every 4-6 weeks. This is where you can explore current and long-term opportunities to join a community, ask lots of questions, share who you are and your dreams, and start meeting like-minded people. If you are a do-it-yourself learner or explore the big picture, you'll get lots of useful resources.

Joining EBCOHO also makes you part of Cohousing California. At http://www.CalCoho.org you will find other regional networks, a combined calendar of events, links to forming and existing communities we know, and links to our partners, networks we belong to, and groups we consider allies around the world.

Use the Suggest a Meetup feature if you'd like to see a particular topic addressed, or if you've got something you are hosting. Events we personally host (Cohousing Coaches Raines & Betsy, that is), almost always include ample time for members to share their personal visions, skills and experiences.

EBCOHO is not usually a quick route to cheap housing, although members do share openings and offers, and we do list and refer members to openings in established intentional communities, both rental and ownership, in the Bay Area and beyond.

Thousands of Bay Area residents already live in safe and stable collaborative housing situations sharing life experiences and living expenses, decision-making, and ownership. Across the US and the world, millions more of people are living more sustainably, more democratically, more cooperatively, and more cost effectively, out of the booms and busts of predatory real estate markets.

If you want to know your neighbors well, have a better life by sharing more, and live more peacefully and lightly on the planet then please join us!

MORE.... about the sponsors and hosts of East Bay Cohousing.

This work is self-funded by the organizers, with a depth of knowledge and commitment that makes it unusual among Meetups (at least we think so!).

Thank you to Supporting Members and our Coaching Clients for helping defray some of the expenses of this labor of love. We thank you with a free orientation, and discounts to future events hosted by us and some of our sponsors/partners. You can track income and expenses on the Money page.

EBCOHO and Cohousing California are projects of Raines Cohen and Betsy Morris and our business partnership, Planning for Sustainable Communities. Each of us has lived in multiple cooperative living situations in the Bay Area before moving in together to Berkeley Cohousing, where we have been members since 2003. Raines has been deeply involved in technology user groups, tech for the social good, journalism and database consulting; Betsy has a PhD, a Masters in city and regional planning, and 20 years experience as a community development and research consultant. Both of us love organizing events that put people first, offer quality resources, and open up new doors and windows to the world that supports our visions and values.

As Cohousing Coaches and project consultants, we provide technical assistance and personalized support for individual members, forming groups, and existing communities. We connect a wide variety of kindred spirits and resources. Please find out more at http://cohousingcoaches.com , or http://www.AgingInCommunity.com/

Upcoming events (5+)

Golden Gate Cohousing: final open house affordable rental (Oak/E'Ville)

We are an 8-year-old, affordable, rental cohousing community in northwest Oakland’s Golden Gate district, located at 1072 and[masked]th Street, a block east of San Pablo Avenue. The renovation and expansion of the 1066 house is complete and we are now accepting new members. We have space for four to five residents to live in two four-bedrooms in the 1066 house. We are inviting people to join the community as provisional members for three months. This gives us time to get to know one another, explore our shared values, and work together before we each make a commitment. We welcome you to join our growing diverse community. Please read further, and if you feel inspired, do fill out the application for membership. We look forward to hearing from you. Selection Process and Timeline Open House Saturday, November 16, 3 - 5pm and Tuesday, November 19, 7 to 9 PM. Address:[masked]th Street, Oakland, CA 94608. Friday, December 6—Applications are due no later than 5pm. Online Application Tuesday, December 10—You will hear from us if selected for an interview Friday-Sunday, December 13-15—Interviews will be conducted. Move-in March Apartments and Rooms The East (newly renovated) House has one two-bedroom and two four-bedroom apartments. The existing West House has four one bedroom apartments and three studios. We currently have four openings in the four-bedrooms in the East House. The rents are between $950 to $1,050. Rents at Golden Gate will not depend on the market. Thus, over time, rents at Golden Gate will be increasingly below market. Common Facilities Shared areas of the community include a large common kitchen, community room, multi-purpose room, laundry, accessible bathroom, guest room, outdoor dining patio, vegetable garden, fruit trees, two roof decks, backyard deck, bike shed, and workshop. Who We Are...Currently Our current membership is 16 adults and 2 teenagers. Adults range in age from the 30's to the 80's and include two families with children. We try to create a safe space for our diverse demographics. We have people from a variety of places including Iran, Colombia, and French and Chilean ancestry as well as native Oakland and other places in the US. This community strives to co-create a culture that reflects multiple cultures and diverse ethnicities including: LGBTQ, African-American, Asian, Latinxs, Middle-Eastern, European-American, and Latin American. We encourage persons of other diversities to apply–gender, sexual orientation, ability, etc. We are engaged in a wide range of pursuits, including community building, holistic culinary healing and counseling, property management, child care, teaching, agroecology, vegan cooking, environmental and community activism, conscious puppetry, urban gardening, food justice, social justice, animal rights, herbalism, documentary filmmaking, restorative justice, non-violent communication, meditation, yoga, dance, music, art, and play. We aim to create a diverse community/family in which everyone is respected for who they are. We are actively engaged in becoming conscious of our privilege and recognizing oppression, how we impact others, and how we can move towards creating a genuinely safe, supportive, and inclusive community. Please see our list of values below. We hold community and committee meetings several times a month; share meals together and socialize; are increasingly supportive of one another’s lives; and are moving toward collectively managing all aspects of the community and the property. See the Golden Gate Cohousing website for more information, at: http://www.meetup.com/ebcoho/pages/Golden_Gate_Cohousing/ Photos at: https://www.facebook.com/goldengatecohousing and https://drive.google.com/open?id=13bclVHl9zTMrQ6qQHrESfvvTXklBds46

Members Orientation: Cohousing Intro & Welcome (S. Berkeley)

The Long Haul Infoshop


Cohousing, housing cooperatives, cohouseholding, communes and ecovillages - Intentional communities, transition towns, nonprofit affordable housing, senior "villages" -- What's the difference and why does it matter? What's living one of these communities really like? Should I join an existing community or start my own? Where do I find openings? How do cooperative communities really work? Who's in charge? You'll get answers and links to a world of resources at our EBCOHO orientation. Orientations vary from Saturdays, Sundays, and very occasional weekday evenings, but we hold them every 4-6 weeks. Come when you are ready! Comments on recent orientations: Very informative and well-presented. Nice group of people, too (of course!). Leslie Hassberg ( http://www.ebcoho.org/members/13498229/ ) ... I left inspired. Jeff French ( http://www.ebcoho.org/members/9064675/ ) ...Very thorough, lots of good advice. Raines is a wonderful host. Walter Feigenson ( http://www.ebcoho.org/members/13122957/ ) Presentation so knowledgeable, yet relaxed. ... very lovely people i met - ginny ( http://www.ebcoho.org/members/77157692/ ) Program runs from 10 til 1, including a little time for Q&A. Light refreshments available, but lunch is not provided. Agenda usually includes: • Member introductions, visions, and goals for cooperative community. • Overview of different types of intentional communities, short definitions, and examples, in the Bay Area; • How to use EBCOHO and other resources to find or create a cooperative community. • Your Questions & Answers, Concerns, and Opportunities • Community-building game or exercise, and time for open sharing on your experience and interests. Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach (http://www.CohousingCoaches.com/ (http://www.cohousingcoaches.com/)) and community organizer, will present and lead discussion. The orientation fee of $20 per household helps cover ongoing EBCOHO expenses such as meeting space, refreshments, insurance, websites, and memberships in key partners and allies. Coaching clients can come free, and members of supporting groups pay just $10. Your fee is refunded if you become a supporting member on the spot. (Supporting members get our thanks, discounts on future EBCOHO hosted events, and a copy of a cohousing book or a Group Works card deck or a Communities magazine back issue or hat. If you RSVP for multiple people, MeetUp will tell you the price is per person, but relax... it's really per household, so bring your better half or housemates. If you register with a friend, you can both get $5 off. You can pay in advance by credit card or at the door by cash or check. If you can't come out with us on a Sunday morning -- fear not! Keep eye on the EBCOHO calendar ( http://www.ebcoho.org/events/calendar/ ) for what's coming up, weekend and weeknight orientations, (un)common meals, socials, movies, and other ways to connect. We hope to see you soon. Other workshops throughout the year will address: • Be Prepared: Buying or Leasing Property Together • Developing and Financing a New Cohousing Neighborhood • Developing and Financing a Housing Cooperative • ABC's of Good Group Process • Marketing and Member Development • Patterns of Thriving Cooperative Groups

Pleasant Hill Cohousing monthly tour

Location visible to members

Raines says: This regular monthly community tour and open house of the East Bay's biggest and most "suburban" cohousing neighborhood, Pleasant Hill cohousing (http://www.ebcoho.org/pages/Pleasant_Hill/), the only "new-build" classic cohousing community in the region, the largest in the East Bay, and a lovely community. Note that this is not an official MeetUp run by EBCOHO, but we will pass along RSVPs that come in here, and you can use this event listing to coordinate carpooling, bike riding, and the like. Visit Pleasant Hill Cohousing's (http://www.ebcoho.org/pages/Pleasant_Hill/) page on the EBCOHO MeetUp for more info, links, and current openings. If you need to cancel your reservation, or decide not to go, please let Pleasant Hill's volunteer tour guide know as soon as possible! Individual Homes There are 32 units, grouped in various configurations ranging from 2-6 homes per building. The buildings were constructed with wood framing, stucco outer walls, and corrogated metal roofing. The smallest units are 640 sq ft one-bedrooms; the largest are 1579 sq ft four-bedrooms. Each home has its own kitchen. The homes are owned individually as condominiums, with some rentals. Common Areas Our 3,835 sq ft Common House contains a kitchen, dining room ("great room"), sitting room, laundry, kids room, teens/older kids room, crafts room, guest rooms, and bathrooms. The Common House is the only building in the project that has air conditioning. However to minimize the use of air conditioning, the building also has a cooling tower with large fans that can be used in the evening to pull cooler air into the building and push hot air out. Other common facilities include swimming pool, hot tub, play area, workshop, bike shed, organic garden, and granite boulders from original site - both decorative and used by children for climbing. Location We're conveniently located near Highway 680 and public transportation, with easy access to Walnut Creek, shopping, and recreation. Pleasant Hill, population 32,000, is located 30 miles east of San Francisco, 4 miles north of the I-680/Hwy 24 interchange. Mostly a residential community with scattered retail/commercial areas, it is bounded by the cities of Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Concord, and Martinez. Pleasant Hill has recently (2000) redeveloped its downtown to create a contemporary shopping district just blocks from the site. In addition, an abundance of good restaurants and shops are within easy driving distance. The city has good recreation programs for all ages and regional walking/biking trails traverse it. Iron Horse Trail A walking and biking trail - the Iron Horse Trail (so named because it's on the old Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way) - runs alongside the site and connects to the Pleasant Hill BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station (~1 mile) and downtown Walnut Creek (~4 miles). The 24-mile trail goes north-south from Concord to Dublin and connects to several other trails that traverse the county making for great biking opportunities. A neighborhood park is located just the other side of Fair Oaks Elementary School adjacent to the site. Briones Regional Park and Mt. Diablo State Park are located nearby providing numerous opportunities for hiking and recreation. There are several health clubs in Pleasant Hill including the YMCA. Diablo Valley Community College and JFK University are located in Pleasant Hill, and there are several city and county adult education programs in the area. There are multiple venues nearby for movies, theater, music and other performing arts including the Dean Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, the Willows Theater Company in Concord, and the Concord Pavillion. There are farmers markets in Pleasant Hill (May-Nov) and Walnut Creek (year-round). Several community members participate in a CSA farm, Terra Firma Farms, with a weekly delivery of locally grown organic fruits and vegies made even more convenient because we are the drop site.

East Bay Permaculture Guild monthly meeting (at PLACE near E'Ville)

a PLACE for sustainable living

We are fortunate to live in an area with an abundance of amazing and inspiring permaculture projects, it is time to for all the people behind those projects, and anyone interested in permaculture, to come together and find new ways to connect, collaborate, discuss and share resources. Note: While this is not a cohousing-specific gathering, we know lots of EBCOHO members are interested in co-creating natural environments for living that include sustainable food production, and you can find many allies for building community at gatherings like this. And while permaculture is stereotypically about plants and animals, don't forget that it ultimately includes energy and social layers, and cohousing can be a key building block in sustainable community living. Join area permies at our regional community-organizing center, EBCOHO partner a PLACE for Sustainable Living in North Oakland on the second Monday of the month for an East Bay Permaculture Guild monthly meeting. Please bring your questions, announcements, ideas, stories, and visions of how permaculture can help us bridge through the transition as we co-create a more permanent culture based on Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. If possible please bring a dish for the potluck, produce or seeds to share. Please forward this invitation to anyone who might be interested in attending. Donations to help support PLACE are always appreciated. About PLACE (http://aplaceforsustainableliving.org/) (People Linking Art, Community and Ecology): We foster sustainable living practices through art, community and ecology. We do this by way of educational workshops and exhibits, outreach programs, partnerships, events and public placemaking.

Photos (2,520)