Saturday, May 25, 2013
Cohousing Offers Neighborly Alternatives for Anchorage Residents
Dozens of Anchorage families look into a new type of neighborhood in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - The Miner family is just one of dozens of Anchorage families looking to build a new type of neighborhood to Alaska.
They are called cohousing communities: a type of collaborative housing that allows up to thirty families participate and design their own neighborhoods. Perks for families living in these types of neighborhoods include having access to common facilities, shared courtyards, and even playgrounds right outside their doorstep.
The concept was pioneered back in the 1960’s in Denmark, but wasn’t introduced in the Unites States until the early 1990’s in Davis, California.
There are nearly 100 cohousing communities across the country, including in states like California and Colorado and also in Canada. Architects believe the cost to build one of these neighborhoods will depend on what a homeowner designs and what part of the country they live in. Estimates range from $100,000 to $400,000.
“As we get older neither my husband or I would like to live in a senior center so this kind of offer is a viable alternative for us,” said Anchorage homeowner Mary Miner.
Miner and her husband raised their three children in a home in Hillside for nearly fifteen years, but say their neighborhood doesn’t feel like a community, which is why they want to live in a cohousing neighborhood.
“Makes life more convenient, more practical, more interesting, more fun. That’s what they want to create a neighborhood that does that,” said Charles Durrett, an architect and author of several books about cohousing.
The Anchorage cohousing community hopes to have a neighborhood built by 2013. A location has not been selected as of yet.