Professional Services

Cohousing professionals can include architects, developers, facilitators, development consultants, marketers, trainers, and others.

Creating a cohousing community is a big job!

Here's a checklist of qualifications to look for in a cohousing consultant, a project manager or a management team:
  1. Knowledge and experience in managing a development of the size and scope you're contemplating (check references, visit their existing developments - it would be very risky to hire someone who has never done this before).
  2. Familiarity with the municipal process for taking a project through rezoning to the building permit stage
  3. Ability to coordinate the work of the professional team and the general contractor
  4. Knowledge of how to create and manage budgets; the capacity to manage members' investment, apply for financing, and manage the flow of money throughout the project
  5. Understanding of the legal structure required for development and how to transition from that to home ownership once the project is completed
  6. Capacity to set up an organizational structure that supports member participation, and with the experience and comfort to facilitate the group's timely planning and appropriate decision-making throughout the process
  7. Good communication and organizational skills, able to be the liaison between the group and the regulatory authorities, professionals, financial institution, and general contractor.

credit: Cohousing Development Consulting

The following professionals are interested in providing services to forming groups and existing communities. The Canadian Cohousing Network does not screen professional listings in any way and inclusion here is not a CCN endorsement. We accept no responsibility for the consequences of hiring any of the professionals listed below. We strongly advise that you request and check references before making hiring decisions.

CDC Cohousing Development Consulting

www.cohousingconsulting.ca

Ronaye Matthew has over 30 years experience in residential development, marketing and construction.

She has provided start-up and development management services for most of the completed cohousing communities in Canada. Ronaye works with groups from the initial forming stage to move-in. She knows what it takes to support a group to ground their vision in reality and generate the membership and financial resources required to move forward and get the project built in a time and cost efficient manner. Ronaye is a founding member of the Canadian Cohousing Network and lives at Cranberry Commons Cohousing.

Cohousing Options Canada Non-profit Corporation

cohousingoptions.ca

Cohousing Options Canada is a 360º non-profit cohousing consultancy that assembles all the different ingredients needed to build sustainable cohousing communities.

We offer workshops, training, advisory, marketing and project development services leveraging expertise provided by our in-house team and through collaboration with local partners and international experts.

In addition to our core services we are working with the Community Wealth Fund to make cohousing home ownership financially more accessible through the creation of community loans and second mortgages.

CoHousing Solutions

www.cohousing-solutions.com

CoHousing Solutions provides development consulting and marketing services to help you create your cohousing community. Our team pioneered the development of cohousing in North America, and we have helped create dozens of successful, award-winning communities. Led by Katie McCamant, cofounder of the North American cohousing movement, CoHousing Solutions draws on over 30 years of cohousing experience, and is frequently the first professional that a group will hire. Katie offers consulting services on all phases of development including: group formation, site search/acquisition, project feasibility, development budgets, investments and loans, hiring and facilitating professional partnerships, design programming, homeowners associations, project/construction management.

Creative PLANit – Website and Marketing Services

creativeplanit.com

Creative PLANit is a full service design studio, specializing in branding and marketing services for companies and associations of all sizes.

With over 20 years of experience, Creative PLANit is a one-stop shop for all your marketing and promotional needs.

Our services include:

  • Website design and development
  • Social media presence and marketing
  • Marketing collateral (brochures, flyers, posters, business cards, you name it!)
  • Fair, trade show and event promotional material (signs, booth branding)
  • Promotional apparel (T-shirts, hats, promotional products)

Contact us with your inquiries, we’ll be happy to work with you in creating and producing a unique marketing strategy for your community: info@creativeplanit.com 

Fitch Architecture and Community Design

www.facdarchitects.com

Fitch Architecture and Community Design (FACD) is one of the most respected and experienced cohousing firms in North America. Laura Fitch discovered her interest in cohousing while studying in Denmark in 1980. As 25+ year resident in Pioneer Valley Cohousing, she offers unique insight into the group dynamics that affect the design process.

Cohousing and sustainable living / design are what Laura has chosen both personally and professionally and she brings great enthusiasm and inspiration to FACD’s work with communities. We offer everything from short consults and design programming workshops to a full range of design and development services.

Contact: info@facdarchitects.com

Laird Schaub

communityandconsensus.blogspot.com

Laird’s work is rooted in 40 years of community living and 30 years of working with consensus-based groups. He’s worked with more than 100 communities, specializing in up-tempo meeting facilitation, conflict, and organizational structure. Key to his approach is welcoming the full range of human responses—including emotional, intuitive, and kinesthetic—in recognition that people know, process, and transmit information in a variety of ways. He’s pioneered a two-year facilitation training program that he’s delivered 12 times all across North America, to more than 100 students. There are currently new courses starting in BC, New England, and North Carolina.

Laird Schaub, 1014 Chester Park Dr, Duluth MN 55812
Phone: 218-724-3732, Email: laird@ic.org

LiveWell Cohousing

www.livewellcohousing.ca

Gary Morrison helps new cohousing communities plan, finance and build their community – following a step-by-step process of development management: from early group formation, land acquisition and design team selection through approvals, financing, hiring a construction contractor and launch. Gary has worked in the development sector for over 25 years and specializes in helping non-profits, public sector agencies and cohousing communities launch new projects.

Please review the LiveWell “Bootcamp Manual” for more information on how to launch your community, and contact Gary Morrison for additional info.

Contact: hello@LiveWellCohousing.ca

Mary Kraus Architect – Cohousing and Participatory Design

www.marykrausarchitect.com

As one of the original cohousing architects in North America, I have worked with cohousing communities across the continent since 1990, in both English and French. From Cohabitat Québec in Québec City to Bartimaeus Cohousing in Washington State, I have helped future neighbors to articulate their goals, make design decisions together, and bring their dreams into form. I have developed an effective and enjoyable methodology for participatory design, collaborating with your local architect and facilitating design workshops with an approach that helps you build strong social bonds in the process of designing your community.

Ottawa Cohousing

www.ottawacohousing.ca

Ottawa Cohousing provides the expertise to build cohousing communities. Our Focus is to develop cohousing communities efficiently, cost effectively, and with environmental integrity. Our Goal is to facilitate healthy community formation, balancing diversity with shared values, and imparting skills for successful community longevity.

We gather individuals and households interested in cohousing. We match aspiring residents to each other and potential professional partners. We shepherd formed groups along the streams of development needed to acquire their site, design and build their community, form their governance structures and to foster group cohesion.

Our Team has comprehensive skills in coordination, management and facilitation, and a deep knowledge of the planning, development and building industries specific to urban infill in the Ottawa region.

Phone:613.724.3742, Email: info@ottawacohousing.ca

Sociocracy For All (SoFA)

sociocracyforall.org/

Sociocracy For All (SoFA) has been promoting the egalitarian self-governance approach known as sociocracy since 2016. We are an international member-run nonprofit with about 200 members from all continents except Antarctica. We have trained thousands of people in sociocracy, and consulted with organizations in sectors such as intentional community (cohousing and ecovillages), nonprofits, permaculture, worker cooperatives, schools, and IT. Sociocratically-run communities have increased from just a handful in 2016 to more than 250 worldwide. In Canada we have had formal and informal contact with many intentional communities and some other sectors; SoFA now has French and English dedicated Canadian liaisons*.

SoFA offers training, books, meeting facilitation and implementation support. Many free resources are available at our website, sociocracyforall.org, including videos demonstrating consent decision-making and how sociocracy works, as short as five minutes and as long as a one-hour intro to sociocracy. We also offer a monthly peer consultation group for cohousing and ecovillage groups who are using sociocracy. We invite people to sample this Community of Practice for a few sessions to see if we can support your practice of sociocracy. (Contact audree.morin@sociocracyforall.org.)

Let us help you create more effective, joyful communities!

French-speakers, contact Audrée Morin: audrée.morin@sociocracyforall.org
English speakers, contact Pati Beaudoin: pati.beaudoin@sociocracyforall.org.

The Cohousing Company

www.cohousingco.com

The Cohousing Company is a full-service architecture firm that specializes in designing Cohousing Communities. For over 30 years, the firm has designed state-of-the-art neighborhoods, including Muir Commons in Davis, California, which was the first Cohousing Community in North America. The Cohousing Company is recognized globally for their innovative approach to housing and has won numerous awards, including the World Habitat Award presented by the United Nations. The Cohousing Company offers workshops, trainings, and public presentations on cohousing, project feasibility and educational design, in addition to a complete range of architecture and design services.