We’ve just experienced a global pandemic. Is this a good time for living in a community?
Opportunities to interact with and take care of each other are prevalent and easy to access in cohousing communities, both because of the pre-existing relationships between people, and the way cohousing communities are constructed. We are hearing stories of people singing and story-telling across courtyards, sharing grocery runs, virtual movie and book group nights, and simply keeping an eye on each other. This time of social distancing has been a surreal and lonely period for many. Imagine the joy of being able to chat with neighbors from across a courtyard, and the comfort of knowing, even if you live alone, that someone will notice if you are not well, and will be in a position to help you find the care you need. Socially distancing safely, with each family keeping to their personal units, cohousers are able to be safe without being isolated. That sounds pretty important right now.
What is Cathedral Park?
For more information about Portland, read pretty much any pre-Covid issue of the New York Times or watch Portlandia — seriously. Portland has been featured in both the national and international press for its livability, its restaurant scene, its music scene, its outdoor recreation opportunities, and a host of other things. It’s an amazing place to live, and still one of the most affordable medium-sized cities on the West Coast.
What is Cohousing?
What makes Our Home – Cathedral Park stand out from other cohousing communities?
What makes Our Home – Cathedral Park inclusive and diverse?
Is Our Home – Cathedral Park only for people who experience disability, are older, or are below median income?
Is this a care facility?
Will I need to take care of our community members who experience disability or community members as they age?
How will the community make sure that the percentage of people who experience disability won’t rise above or dip below 20–25%?
Are children allowed?
I’m a young able-bodied person, why would I want to live there?
What if I’m an introvert—will I have private time in cohousing?
How much you socialize is up to you. Many cohousers in other places create their own signs or symbols to let their neighbors know if they would prefer not to talk at the moment. Of course, those of us who choose to live here do so because in general, we enjoy getting to know one another. Cohousing is actually very popular with introverts, because there’s no “work” required to socialize; it’s “built in” and happens naturally.
Do I own my own home?
Do I also own a share of the Our Home – Cathedral Park community spaces?
How many subsidized units are there?
Will the subsidized units be permanently affordable?
How much does ownership cost?
How big are the homes?
What about HOA fees?
What is the financial structure to be a neighbor of OHCP?
There are many things that make Our Home – Cathedral Park unique and exciting, but our innovative financial structure is right up there with our community members, architectural design and partnerships.
Our Home – Cathedral Park has the incredible fortune of being able to springboard off the generous support of several nonprofit organizations. Community Vision, Inc. gave us a place we could build our home by initially purchasing and holding our land while our founders worked tirelessly to bring our community and funding together. The Kuni Foundation gave a stunning $1,000,000.00 in funding, which has been put in place as part of our ‘first in’ equity. These funds are the most difficult for cohousing communities to raise, as they are essential but most at risk during the early stages of the development.
Financial assistance has also come from Oregon Community Foundation, Metro and many private family donation contributors, who work with our nonprofit sponsor, Our Home, Inclusive Community Collaborative, showing their belief in the value of our inclusive and diverse community by their generous financial gifts and support.
Please click on the Becoming an OHCP neighbor tab to learn more [LINK TO PATHWAY-TK?]
What about parking?
What about safety and security?
Where can guests stay?
Do I have to participate in community events or meals?
Is cohousing just a Portland thing?
How would I know if I’d like to be a neighbor at Our Home – Cathedral Park?
Do you have a wait list, or a mailing list?
Are there advantages to joining right away?
- Become part of, and help shape, the culture of our community.
- Establish your seniority for unit selection. The date of membership determines the order of unit selection, so earlier neighbors have the most choices.
- Have a voice in deciding how we will live as neighbors (pet policy, common amenities chosen, landscape design, common area design, etc.).
- Have access to potential Early Member Discounts.
But wait, what happens if I need to leave OHCP before it is complete?
Can I have a pet?
Will smoking be allowed?
Can I become a member of Our Home – Cathedral Park if I do not currently live in Portland?
Are there any cost savings associated with living in this type of cohousing community?
- Lower maintenance costs than those associated with large single-family homes.
- Sustainable building practices and economies of scale reduce utility and other costs.
- Consideration for the local climate, natural daylight, and optimizing solar orientation make for highly energy-efficient buildings.
- Solar panels are planned for the affordable units and common spaces.
- Less reliance on cars.
- Studies show cohousing residents drive 25% less, and own fewer vehicles.
- Our urban setting rates a walkscore of 86.
- We have access to public transit to and from downtown and other areas of the city.
- Bicycle storage provided.
- Practical benefit of knowing there are people close by in case of an emergency.
What responsibilities will I have in the community?
How much work is required?
Many work tasks will be accomplished via members’ individual and collective labors of love. We will strive to match work with our neighbors talents, abilities and passions.
Will I have privacy?
Do I get free care or help if I get sick?