Have you thought about getting more involved with cohousing? We don't just mean forming a group and living in community, we mean within your line of work. Maybe you're interested in sustainable community design. Maybe you're thinking about in bringing cohousing into your real estate repertoire. Maybe you're pondering what it would be like to be a project manager for developing communities, or how you can help facilitate more communities in your area. Perhaps you are passionate about community and want to help grow the market.
The 500 Communities Program is a 12 month course designed to train collaborators to meet the expanding need for professional support in creating new communities. The program is applicable to many different job fields, and was designed with all means of collaborative development in mind. Its intention is not to teach one model of cohousing, but to build on the lessons learned as we explore models of collaborative development not taught in university or trade school.
Beyond the curriculum, the program provides a much needed community for cohousing and development professionals.
Here's how you can learn more . . .
Syllabus at a Glance
Overview of the development process: How you get paid, understanding where the money is in the budget, what tasks can be hired out elsewhere, and defining your role to take advantage of your strengths.
Building your market: marketing and outreach.
Site search, project feasibility, and negotiating property purchase agreements.
How to approach local developers: Why would they be interested, and how do you pitch it?
Group formation: How do you actually form a cohesive group and move them into an organized structure?
Setting up a project budget.
Understanding cash flow to get projects off the ground.
Marketing & Membership: Training your community to market and integrate new members.
Working through political approvals and training your community to lobby for the project.
Mortgages, Fannie Mae, FHA, Appraisals and HOA’s: What you need to know about getting mortgages for your buyers.
Construction management, options and upgrade systems; keeping a construction project on budget.
At the end of the course you officially become a "Certified Cohousing Consultant," and are encouraged to join our community of professionals by becoming a CoHousing Solutions Affiliate. These graduates maintain access to our documents and enjoy monthly collaborative calls with other Affiliates.
“I can’t imagine how I would dare consider being a professional supporting cohousing without the 500 Communities program. Katie’s breadth of knowledge and her willingness to share this knowledge has been, and continues to be, invaluable. I’ve also appreciated the support from my fellow program participants. From our first weekend together to the subsequent monthly calls, I gained new friends who shared my passion and challenged me to develop my knowledge and skills. Creating cohousing is daunting, but with this program and Katie’s continued support, I feel confident that I can be part of this amazing movement.”
– Shelly Parks, 500 Communities Program Affiliate | Founder, CoVision Consulting
“It was actually a lot of fun; we had a good time together. The 500 Communities Program Affiliates are a wonderful community of professionals. It can be frustrating when you're in the industry and groups aren't, so it's good to have people to commiserate with who understand. When the supply chain went bonkers it was nice to have people like Katie, Roger and Shelly to talk to about challenges we all faced selling cohousing.”
– David Kelley, 500 Communities Program Affiliate | Partner, Concept Neighborhood
“In my position as the federal Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman in Washington, DC, I learned the importance of inclusive, supportive communities as we age. I also know the fear of discrimination felt by many in the aging Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community.
My exploration brought me to Katie and CoHousing Solutions. I’m not a developer, and partnering with Katie and the 500 Communities Program has allowed me to leverage Katie’s years of experience and for me to focus on my strengths in program development and project management. With Katie’s help, and the tools and vital information I’ve learned through participation in the 500 Communities Program, I look forward to building many inclusive, non-discriminatory, LGBT-focused, Cohousing inspired communities.”
– Dan Schreiner, Graduate of Program | Founder & CEO of eQuality Health Services LLC