• EBCOHO Aging-in-Community class honored in People's Life Fund Granting Ceremony

    We are pleased to announce that People's Life Fund has selected our "Inclusive Aging in Community" project as one of its 2021 grantees.

    Join the free granting ceremony this evening and see what other projects are getting help from resisted war taxes, including our partners PLACE and Canticle Farm in Oakland.

    Why this matters now:
    * We have been offered the opportunity to bring a community to a site that could have people in a new neighborhood near BART with new, designed-for-accessibility homes priced less than a third of what even old homes that need work cost in Berkeley.
    * We want to make sure that people who don't already own homes here (or historically were excluded from homeownership or priced out of it) have a better shot at it, and also to be ready to help people who have the least make the most of the opportunities for "build in place" community that Berkeley's new proposed legalizing of 4-plexes will create.
    * Plus, we want EBCOHO to be an organization led by and serving everybody in the East Bay, not just those of us who were lucky to grab a place a long time back when we could afford it.

    This is the second time that EBCOHO has received a PLF grant; the first, several years ago, helped us create the Squirrel Fund, funding some of our initial legal work, partnerships, and outreach for a new way of helping keep fixed-income seniors living in community as costs rise, and to keep their homes affordable after their deaths.

    Our portion will be brief, but the ceremony will be followed by breakout rooms so you can talk with us and other grant recipients about their projects. And note on the EBCOHO calendar this Saturday's workshop on financing housing acquisition and rehab for affordability, led by NCLT as part of its inclusivity programming.

    RSVP for Zoom Link.
    If you prefer not to use MeetUp, register on the new EBCOHO site at:
    https://www.ebcoho.org/plf_granting

    ---
    More about the program receiving the PLF grant:

    Free, discount and subsided training on effective Aging in Community
    An East Bay Cohousing service in development

    In our work helping people find and create community, we often discover that the people who most could benefit from senior cohousing can't afford the initial workshop series that we offer to get it started. We want to increase the number of communities, not by going for the traditional "easy" market-rate homebuyers, but instead fostering diversity by getting groups going and linking them to established area programs that can make housing and community more affordable.

    So we plan on taking our proven "Aging in Community" curriculum, adapted from the Danish national "successful aging" curriculum, and offer classes at no cost and by donation for groups identified through area senior centers and the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network (POCSHN), or with scholarships for seats at our general workshops (whichever approach turns out to be more more effective and inclusive, under POCSHN's guidance).

    We know that we don't have all the answers, and we aren't the world's experts at what works well for different people, so we'll be looking for ways to support what's underway from groups working in these areas, like the Northern California Land Trust (NCLT) Co-ownership Initiative.

    The traditional course format is a 10-week workshop, but we have learned from trying out other styles, and based on recommendations from POCSHN and prospective attendees we plan to offer a version of the course that best meets their needs for time and location, and which includes paid POC guest presenters and activities that help make it clear some of the paths and resources and attitudes that have led to meaningful change and opening up new options.

    This effort will be led by EBCOHO co-organizer and Cohousing Coach Raines Cohen, a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and Certified Sage-ing Leader (CSL).

    Funded in part by War Taxes Redirected by the People’s Life Fund.

  • East Bay Permaculture Group: Creatively Use & Respond to Change (virtual)

    After a long hiatus, the East Bay Permaculture Group meetings will resume starting Monday, April 12, 2021, on zoom. Meeting every 2nd Monday of the month. April's topic will be the permaculture principle "Creatively use and respond to change", and any other topic pertinent to the attendees.

    RSVP here or directly via East Bay Cohousing's new website:
    https://www.ebcoho.org/ebcoho_permie_20210412

    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, in the EcoVillage or any other model.

    Join area permies at a monthly virtual event originally hosted by 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 Group 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.

    Please forward this invitation to anyone who might be interested in attending.

    Donations to help support PLACE are always appreciated.

    About PLACE (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.
    https://www.aplaceforsustainableliving.org/

  • Urban Intentional Communities Panel (virtual)

    Online event

    Join us for Free Online Intentional Urban Community Panel Discussion

    Would you and your communities be interested in participating in an online urban intentional communities event?

    The topic is the struggles and resilience of urban communities.
    This gathering is organized by Ganas and also The North American youth-activist branch of the Global EcoVillage Network (GENNA).
    The panel consists of 5 leaders and experienced dwellers of urban intentional communities from San Francisco, New York City, and Washington DC.

    RSVP for the Zoom Link or if you would rather not use MeetUp, RSVP here via the new East Bay Cohousing website and you get sent right into the Zoom room:
    https://www.ebcoho.org/urban_ics_20210411

    EBCOHO Note: While this is not focused on cohousing neighborhoods, it includes several folks we know doing great work organizing #coliving shared homes and other forms of urban community that can be models for what we co-create here, as well as lots of lessons for us from long time community living.

    PANELISTS:

    Dr. Zarinah Agnew lived in an intentional community in San Francisco for the last nine years, and is a steward of Haight St Commons (HsC), which is a collective of around 75 communities in the Bay Area. It has a decentralized federation that shares resources, learnings, housemates, documents, a radical fund, a newsletter and more. She is part of a global federation called the Embassy Network. She is director of a non profit that supports the creation of experimental commons and autonomous spaces. On the ground, one of the projects that she stewarded is called the Second Life Project, which are autonomous spaces centered around the needs and wisdoms of formerly incarcerated individuals.

    Darrell Duane is the founder of Glowhouse in Washington, DC, which existed since 2000. Glowhouse hosts a community of holistic practitioners, burners (people passionate about Burning Man), and also meditators. They do avid couch surfing, and enjoy healthy eating and authentic relating. Duane is working on a number of projects, such as the Crypto Universal Basic Income Foundation, DMV Ecovillages, Ranked Choice Voting Support Network, Lovers of Living Together DC, and Organic Groups.

    Raven Glomus has helped start a number of urban communities. In 1995 he founded Common Threads in Cambridge, Massachusetts which lasted 5 years and more recently Cotelydon in Queens. He had been a long-time member and compost manager at Ganas in New York City, and he manages the Commune Life blog. He has been concerned about how there is almost no more urban egalitarian income sharing communities in the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and is passionate about how to start and maintain such communities.

    Maddie Hana Fontaine is a lifelong urban communitarian. She was part of communal living since she was 10 years old, and as an only child, learned a lot growing up in an intentional community in Madison, Wisconsin from other children and adults. She was part of Madison Community Cooperative (MCC), an organization of multiple urban coops. She lived in Ambrosia and also Friends in Madison, both part of MCC, and then after college, she lived in Youtopia in Brooklyn. She learned much about conflict resolution, adaptability, leadership, interpersonal relationships, and how to share space with others in her experience.

    Michael Johnson co-founded Ganas, a 65 member community in New York City in 1980, He regards it as an experiential research center in democratic culture where people live and work together. He had been immersed in the cooperative/solidarity economic movements since 2007 with the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives (New England), SolidarityNYC, and Grassroots Economic Organizing Collective (GEO), which he is a regular contributor and editor. He is the author of The Growing Democracy Project.

    Sincerely,
    Leon Tsao (Ganas member and fellow communitarian)

  • In Person at Kingfisher Cohousing! Potluck, Work Day & Tour (Fruitvale/Dimond)

    Location visible to members

    We'll have an open house with a real meal & workday, NOT virtual. For serious folks looking to rent or buy in community only, please.

    This is an opportunity to and learn more about this cohousing project, an EBCOHO Supporting Member Group. Please check the group's website for more about the community and the apartment, and more pictures:

    http://www.brookdalecommons.org/

    ---

    The Open House:

    In addition to the Meetup RSVP, please contact us ahead of time here to register: http://www.brookdalecommons.org/contact-us/ and tell us something about yourself. We will limit this open house to 4 or 5 guests. Call for a private tour if you can't make it on Sunday.

    BYO food and drink for lunch at noon. We are not sharing food, just company. Bring a mask, but you don't have to wear it when outdoors and 6 feet apart. Take a self-guided tour of the apartment, one person at a time. Please stick around in the afternoon to help us work in the garden, and get to know us.

    ---

    About Our Community:

    We are currently a community of five households with the potential to
    grow to 9 and to create a common house.

    We are thriving in the time of Covid because we still gather for common meals, with some modifications: we sit 6 feet apart in our beautiful courtyard, and bring our own food. This has been wonderful in this challenging time, keeping us from being isolated. We are a group of 5 adults, plus one shy teenager who doesn't usually attend community meals.

    Even in this urban space there are lots of places to grow flowers and food. The bees and hummingbirds love our garden, and we're growing tomatoes, figs, cucumbers, squash, string beans and basil.

  • Phoenix Commons (Oakland) Senior Cohousing Virtual Open House

    Location visible to members

    We welcome you to Phoenix Commons, our San Francisco Bay Area 55+ cohousing community.

    Our community lives in a modern, environmentally friendly building located in the vibrant Jingletown neighborhood of Oakland, CA and is situated along the beautiful Oakland Estuary.

    We still have 5 available units for sale, some with sunset views over the San Francisco Bay.

    Please enjoy watching this video of our indoor and outdoor living spaces:
    https://vimeo.com/218991756

    On our website, you will find more details about our community. We think you will especially enjoy visiting Our Members page to find out who lives at Phoenix Commons!
    http://www.PhoenixCommons.com/

    If you’d like to drop by for our Zoom Open House, please RSVP on this page or via the East Bay Cohousing website:
    Https://www.ebcoho.org/

    We look forward to seeing you! Zoom link will be visible to folks who RSVP.

  • Pleasant Hill Cohousing monthly *VIRTUAL* tour: video and Q&A

    Location visible to members

    In light of the SF Bay Area ban on non-essential gatherings, this tour will be offered in a virtual fashion. Register here for details. DO NOT go to the site without prior arrangement and a specific booking to meet someone.

    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" intergenerational 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!

    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 corrugated 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 the 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. In 2000, Pleasant Hill 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 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.

    8
  • How cohousers can help keep Berkeley affordable:TOPA

    Location visible to members

    For years, EBCOHO members have asked us how they can buy property and create affordable cohousing and cooperative communities here in Berkeley and Oakland.

    Well the time has come --- both cities are considering a new Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) which will make that more possible than any time in the last 25 years! TOPA means tenants will get notice from landlords before their building goes on the market, and can band together to make an offer, or designate a community partner to negotiate on their behalf -- and then be eligible for public funds.

    If you live in Berkeley, please sign our EBCOHO petition today. If you want to learn more or meet other cohousers supporting the act, RSVP on this page and come to our virtual informational gathering on Zoom this Wednesday (3/17) at 5:30 PM.

    We (Betsy and Raines) will testify at a public hearing this Thursday morning, and at upcoming City Council meetings; delivering your signatures will help show them how important this tool is for making community affordable so we can continue to thrive here.

    Find out more about TOPA, and the actions you can take personally.

    If you’d rather not use MeetUp, or you want to learn more about the campaign, just click over to East Bay Cohousing’s website: https://www.ebcoho.org/topa_support_berkeley

    2
  • Free folk music hour with fabulous facilitators & David Roth

    Location visible to members

    And now for something totally different: a bonus from a facilitators’ conference Raines was at this weekend: an hour of music and community, led by David “not Lee” Roth, folk musician and community organizer.

    No particular cohousing connection, but a powerful reminder of the ability of music to change the conversation and open up new ways of hearing one another.

    Raines hear him perform Friday and thought other East Bay Cohousing folks might enjoy dropping in today, on a space available basis.

    NOTE: come on in anytime, music starts at 4:30 but MeetUp only lets us pick 5.

    More info about the musician:
    Https://www.DavidRothMusic.com/

    1
  • In Person at Kingfisher Cohousing! Potluck, Work Day & Tour (Fruitvale/Dimond)

    Location visible to members

    We'll have an open house with a real meal & workday, NOT virtual. For serious folks looking to rent or buy in community only, please.

    This is an opportunity to and learn more about this cohousing project, an EBCOHO Supporting Member Group. Please check the group's website for more about the community and the apartment, and more pictures:

    http://www.brookdalecommons.org/

    ---

    The Open House:

    In addition to the Meetup RSVP, please contact us ahead of time here to register: http://www.brookdalecommons.org/contact-us/ and tell us something about yourself. We will limit this open house to 4 or 5 guests. Call for a private tour if you can't make it on Sunday.

    BYO food and drink for lunch at noon. We are not sharing food, just company. Bring a mask, but you don't have to wear it when outdoors and 6 feet apart. Take a self-guided tour of the apartment, one person at a time. Please stick around in the afternoon to help us work in the garden, and get to know us.

    ---

    About Our Community:

    We are currently a community of five households with the potential to
    grow to 9 and to create a common house.

    We are thriving in the time of Covid because we still gather for common meals, with some modifications: we sit 6 feet apart in our beautiful courtyard, and bring our own food. This has been wonderful in this challenging time, keeping us from being isolated. We are a group of 5 adults, plus one shy teenager who doesn't usually attend community meals.

    Even in this urban space there are lots of places to grow flowers and food. The bees and hummingbirds love our garden, and we're growing tomatoes, figs, cucumbers, squash, string beans and basil.

    5
  • Phoenix Commons (Oakland) Senior Cohousing Virtual Open House

    We welcome you to Phoenix Commons, our San Francisco Bay Area 55+ cohousing community.

    Our community lives in a modern, environmentally friendly building located in the vibrant Jingletown neighborhood of Oakland, CA and is situated along the beautiful Oakland Estuary.

    We still have 5 available units for sale, some with sunset views over the San Francisco Bay.

    Please enjoy watching this video of our indoor and outdoor living spaces:
    https://vimeo.com/218991756

    On our website, you will find more details about our community. We think you will especially enjoy visiting Our Members page to find out who lives at Phoenix Commons!
    http://www.PhoenixCommons.com/

    If you’d like to drop by for our Zoom Open House, please RSVP on this page or via the Cohousing California website:
    http://www.CalCoho.org/eb_phx_virtual_open_20210313/

    We look forward to seeing you! Zoom link will be visible to folks who RSVP.

    2