OHCP Happenings and Press

Dwellability Newsletter 07

Every Friday at Dwellability, we like to highlight community members and their amazing stories of accomplishment…

Alicia DeLashmuttMy name is Alicia, founding neighbor of Our Home Inclusive Community Collaborative.

I have over 17 years of community involvement as a disability inclusion and housing advocate and am the proud mother of a strong-willed teenage girl whose diverse interests include basketball, Fritos and opera. My daughter experiences Mowat-Wilson, a rare genetic syndrome, the impacts from which are widespread and significant. My daughter, Neva, has been a strong influence in my mission to promote inclusive life opportunities to families and individuals who also experience disability.

Our purpose is to work with local partners to create diverse, cohousing inspired pocket neighborhood communities consisting of families who have the opportunity for home-ownership and include individuals often seen as ‘at-risk’ — elders, people who experience disability and people below median income. Our Home communities will be based on strengths, interests and shared values not deficits and needs.

Starting in Portland, Oregon, we are providing an alternative solution to four pressing challenges in our communities:

  • Housing options (especially home-ownership) are extremely limited in for people with disabilities and are based on deficit and need (negative outcomes include: dependence on system, burden on family, separation from community, lack of individualization and ‘real life’ opportunities).
  • People below median income (often people who experience disability or are our ageing population) are increasingly being priced out of the residential home-ownership market.
  • Housing options for the aging population lack the opportunity for older individuals to give back and have a sense of purpose by being an integral part of an age-diverse and familiar community where you know your neighbors as well as receive the supports that are needed to age in place for as long as possible.
  • Currently our city is lacking communities that intentionally bring together diverse populations of people (including, but not limited to, those who experience disability, aging, families, first time homebuyers, mixed income) based on shared values and interests that promote natural supports (see below) and individualized choice as a premise for community.

Rendering of street view

Our Home – Cathedral Park is an inclusive, co-housing inspired community with a variety of home ownership opportunities for individuals and families of diverse abilities, ages and income levels.

Photo: Mahlum Architects https://www.mahlum.com/ and our developer is UD+P udplp.com
We are actively gathering our community, supporters and funding for Our Home – Cathedral Park and have a completion date in 2022. For more information please contact our Founding Neighbor, Alicia DeLashmutt

Inclusive Diverse Communities Start With You
Join us in building thriving neighborhoods that embrace the diversity of our elders, our community members with disabilities, and singles and families with a variety of incomes – based on shared interests, strengths and values.




Community Building in the City

“We love the density, diversity, and walkability of our neighborhood” Fellowship for Intentional Community, February, 2018

Making a Case for Urban Housing

Great example of urban cohousing in Seattle. Fellowship for Intentional Community, Grace Kim, January, 2018

The town that’s found a potent cure for illness – community”

“Illness reduces people’s ability to socialize, which leads in turn to isolation and loneliness, which then exacerbates illness.” The Guardian, Feb 21, 2018

How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult

“We shouldn’t just accept a way of living that makes interactions with neighbors and friends a burden that requires special planning.” Vox, Dec 7, 2017

There’s Community and Consensus. But It’s No Commune.

“Moving into a new house that’s roughly a 90-second walk from that of your parents may not be the ideal living condition for most adults, but that’s what drew Ben Brock Johnson, 37, to the town of Amherst, Mass. New York Times, January 20, 2018

How to Design Our Neighborhoods for Happiness

When we share our yards, sidewalks, and other common spaces, we find a greater sense of belonging and connection to those around us. Yes Magazine, July 26, 2013

As my friends and I grow older, we’re setting our sights on communal living

The Globe and Mail, October 4, 2016

Addressing Lack of Housing for Individuals who Experience Disability

Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative Thrilled to be Championed by Project Partners in Recent Oregon Live Op-Ed Piece

A recent op-ed published on Oregon Live, calls for social justice solutions to the growing problem of lack of community-based housing choices for people who experience disability. The co-authors of the column, Angela Hult of the Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation and Joe Wykowski of Community Vision, highlight the ongoing crisis with some stark facts. According to Family Caregiver Alliance, approximately 39.8 million caregivers provide care to adults 18 years or older with a disability or illness. Of those caregivers, 34 percent are 65 years of age or older. As parents age without options for their loved ones, individuals with disabilities face uncertainty about where they will live when their family can no longer care for them. As a nation made up of communities and families, we have done little to address the real needs of those who experience disabilities in the more than fifty years since President Kennedy called for a reduction of the number of persons confined to residential institutions.

One Step Toward a Community-Based Solution

Looking at the magnitude of this problem, the need to focus on incremental change at the level of personal relationships, the level of community, becomes clear. Collaboration between individuals and organizations is an important first step toward reducing systems dependency and building real, inclusive and diverse communities. That’s why we were absolutely thrilled to have our first cohousing-inspired development–Our Home – Cathedral Park–called out in the column:

Our Home – Cathedral Park, in Portland, is an example of the innovation and collaboration we need. The co-housing inspired community will have home ownership opportunities for individuals and families of diverse abilities, ages and incomes. Co-housing fosters intentional connections through shared indoor and outdoor spaces, the sharing of items like tools and garden equipment and collaboratively planning and managing activities, including child and elder care and carpooling. The St. Johns project includes 22 universally designed condominiums, which means they are accessible to people of any ability, with both subsidized and market-rate units. Up to 25 percent of the units are intended for families and individuals who experience an intellectual or developmental disability. The location will provide access to jobs, education and health care. The project benefits from strong collaboration among nonprofit, government and for-profit organizations, including Community Vision, Metro, Proud Ground, Habitat for Humanity, and Urban Development Partners.

Moving Forward, Building Strong Inclusive Communities Together

Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative, along with our first built cohousing inspired community, Our Home – Cathedral Park, is deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with individuals and other local and national organizations. Together, we are beginning the work of addressing the lack of secure, consistent housing choices for individuals who experience disability by creating inclusive, non-disability specific, diverse communities. By starting small and building on our successes, we will work to address the issue of isolation by fostering strong bonds of community.

Thank you to our partners at Community Vision, the Kuni Foundation, Metro, Proud Ground, Habitat for Humanity, and Urban Development + Partners for seeing the need on both the individual and larger scale and stepping forward to collaborate toward building real community connections to address this ongoing crisis. is actively seeking partners and community members. Please join us in building the future of inclusivity.

We are building Our Community now!

We are actively gathering community, supporters, and funding.
For more information please contact us
Download our one-page information sheet

As in life, we at OHCP acknowledge that change happens. Information on this site is subject to updates and modifications.