Frequently Asked Questions
The front porch at Durham Coho.
What is cohousing?
Cohousing communities are intentional, collaborative neighborhoods that enhance private homes with extensive common facilities to create strong and resilient communities. Cohousing nationwide is predicted to expand rapidly in the next few decades as individuals and families seek to live more sustainably, and changing demographics encourage innovative ways to address the roles traditionally played by extended families. More than 165 cohousing communities are established throughout the U.S., with 140 in formation. Here in Durham and Chapel Hill, we enjoy eight cohousing communities, two of which are being built and still recruiting new members.
What are shared spaces within Durham Coho?
In addition to our fully furnished condos, shared spaces include a garage (one parking space per condo), community kitchen and dining room, living room, outdoor terraces and gardens, guest suites, media and project rooms, a solarium, and a woodworking shop. Our wide hallways serve as gathering spaces, libraries, and art displays.
What is the legal structure and what are monthly dues?
Legally, Durham Central Park Cohousing is a Condo Association. We contribute monthly Condo Association dues that cover utilities, wifi, maintenance, reserve fund, and discretionary funds for community life activities, common space cleaning, and landscaping. We are proud of our healthy reserve fund, and sustainability measures to keep costs low and our carbon footprint down, such as aggregated utility costs, and a solar water heater.
What's expected of me as a member?
Members are expected to help maintain our common facilities through oversight and occasional work days as members are able and engage in shared governance through service on task circles that align with individual skills and interests and through attendance at monthly meetings that guide our community life. And, as time and interest allow, we hope members will join in community activities such as weekly meals, happy hour gatherings, and other fun offerings.
How does the community work together?
The community's work is accomplished through five main teams, or what we call Hubs: Administration, Buildings and Grounds, Community Life, Communications, and Workin’ It. Each Hub has a set of responsibilities and oversees Task Circles that care for special issues, such as landscaping, commons cleaning service, house concerts, celebrations, or common meals. Members are encouraged to participate in tasks for which they have some affinity or expertise.
How does the community make decisions?
Active participation in decision making is part of life at Durham Coho. We make community decisions using consensus, which means that people with differing opinions come together to create workable solutions. While this can be a challenging process, decisions we make in this way are strong and long-lasting.
What are community meals?
Each Sunday night, our community gathers for a potluck, or a team-cooked meal. We also enjoy pop up meals, such as during snow days, or to celebrate milestones. Members who enjoy cooking participate in planning meals.
What about privacy?
We place a high value on privacy. Our members balance privacy and community by choosing their own level of engagement. Having our own homes is important to us.