In May two of our members were travelling around Seattle and Washington State in America and found out that they were going to be there at the same time at the US National Cohousing Open House Day. They were able to go to visit three different projects, one, Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing, is an inter-generational project in an inner city neighbourhood of Seattle, another, the Songaia Cohousing Community, is a cluster of intergenerational intentional communities just north of Seattle in Bothell WA. The third is a senior cohousing project in Port Townsend across the Puget Sound from Seattle, called Quimper Village, probably the nearest in inspiration and implementation to what we are trying to do here in Manchester. As well as being made really welcome by everyone visited the experiences of those who had realised the three projects were all felt to be directly relevant in terms of learning from what they had all achieved so far. This builds upon what other MUCH members had already learned from projects that members had visited in Helsinki, Copenhagen and Berlin. We are aiming to create a new section of the website over this summer which will provide links to all of these projects together with resources which will be useful for members and potential members alike.
MUCH members have been very busy over the past few months, looking at potential sites, meeting potential new members and carrying on to develop our policies and practice to help make our cohousing project a reality. Members have also been looking at what is happening in other parts of the UK and Europe, including visiting projects in Lancaster, Leeds and Sheffield and in Copenhagen and Berlin. We are also talking to a local housing association, which has a reputation for innovation, about the possibility of developing a partnership for our project. In the future we are making a commitment to provide updates on the website each month (as a minimum). So please look out for further news in May.