House Sharing & Co-Housing

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Child friendly community housing

Nov 2010

Hallo, I am looking for some child friendly community housing in Berkeley. Does anyone know of any available? Thanks! L

Oh, how I welcome this post! I am a single mom with no extended family support and have made it through child rearing 0-8 years old in that realm. This American culture, with its priorities on individual success has led most of us parents into a real lack of support for ourselves and lack of enduring role models (adults) and playfriends (neighbors) for our children. I am finally seeing clearly and now have gathered 3 other families and we are looking for property to buy where we can all coexist in a supportive and enduring way. I have researched the current community living communities, which seem great but are nearly impossible to get into, and have finally decided to sell my single family home and buy something more conducive to community housing. Best of luck!! Kim

Want to know more about co-housing

Nov 2008

Hi- It seems to me like an ideal scenario to buy a duplex/triplex with a couple of families with the idea of creating a mini-community. When I say mini-community, I'm not talking commune. I'm thinking more along the lines of a fun shared yard, a communal dinner here and there and some baby-sitting swapping. I'm wondering how things work for those of you already in a co-housing situation. What do you like about it? What isn't so good about it? Ideally I'd like to get into something like this with friends I know but they're all settled in their own homes already. How do I find other like-minded people out there? Anyone? Thanks, I'm no hippy- I just like people!

You're on the right path. I live in a cohousing group with 6 households in north Oakland, and know other folks in the area who are in situations in duplex or tri-plex setups. We share washer/dryer, eat together a couple of times a week and share dog/babysitting duties from time to time. We also all keep an ear to the ground about neighborhood activities and keep each other up to date on that. As for finding the people to join you - you could try Craigslist, or also ask about that on website. A couple of folks to look for in the local community are Raines Cohen or Karen Hester - both very active in the local cohousing communities and know a lot of folks, they may be able to connect you. is Karen's website. is Raines website. Best of luck! Scott
I am also interested in co housing and have been looking into either starting something or joining one. I love the idea of sharing meals, gardening, yard space, and childcare duties because it makes these chores more fun while also providing more time to do other things that you enjoy. I also like to have my private space and alone time, so co housing seems to be a nice way to get the best of both the community world and solitude. I visited a co housing community a few days ago. We, and anyone else interested in co housing should talk. Craving community in this work filled life.
Sounds like you're not yet plugged into the cohousing networks that already exist. There are people just like you who are ready to buy with relative strangers and then form a community. There is lots of information about this once you start looking.

Get yourself on to the list that Karen Hester runs: She sends out emails about properties that are good for cohousing or groups that are forming. Also Cohousing Network has a list serve that can be about networking, too.

As for problems and realities of living in cohousing -- you can also begin to get a taste for that from these two resources above. You might try to make some personal connections in order to do some informational interviewing. I was able to skip all that and Got lucky and bought a cohousing apartment.

Do you have neighbors where you live now who would like to swap babysitting and share communal meals? Buying a triplex and moving sounds like an upheaval that might not work out in the end. Practical
I would love to talk to you-- I too have looked into co-housing, as we would love to have another or other families that we joined occasionally, lived in proximity and watched each other's kids. We also have interested friends, who aren't really up for moving anytime soon. We presently live in a TIC (tenancy in common) in Berkeley- so I know quite a bit about the ways this works financially. If you'd like to talk, write me!

EcoVillage or Co-housing

May 2009

Our family would really like to live in an EcoVillage or some sort of co-housing in or near Berkeley, Albany, or Alameda. Maybe Orinda/Lafayette. We don't need it to be particularly cheap; less than $800,000 is ideal but not required. We need it to be in an area that is safe, has a good school district, and has other young kids around. Extra bonuses would be close to public transit, an easy commute to U.C. Berkeley, and in a bike-friendly area.

Five years ago, we interviewed a nanny at someone's house in, I think, Rockridge where several neighbors had taken down their backyard fences to make one big yard. They also held monthly potlucks. That sort of thing would work for us too.

Know of anywhere that fits the bill? Have a house for sale next to you and might want to take down backyard fences? Looking for a Home

I am in the early stages of assembling a co-housing group. I too would like to build in the Lamorinda area or possibly near Berkeley. Land is always a challenge, but with a core group of committed folks, it is possible to move ahead. My goals match yours in terms of cost, geography, and co-housing model. In addition I would like a shared focus on Mindful Living: eco-friendly, support for healthy lifestyle, community involvement and a culture of kindness. If interested, please call or email. L
I live in cohousing in Berkeley. Our adjacent neighbor is selling his house right now. Send me a note and I can put you guys in touch.

Roommate Source for Single Parents

Jan 2006

I am a single mother, work full time and I am going back to school this month. I currently live in Oakland but would like to move back to San Francisco. I have a 5 yr old. I am wondering if anyone knows of a reliable housing source for seeking roomates. Preferably other single parents. I would like to find housing to share, but of course finding roommates that are child friendly is a challenge. Any thoughts or advice? Angela

Try Co-Abode: - it is designed for single moms.
Good luck.
Since you are a BPN subscriber, you can post to the Marketplace Newsletter in the section Housing. I often see similar posts in that section.

How to find other single parents to share housing?

June 2005

I'm a 33-year-old single mother with a one-year-old son. I'd like to share a household with another single parent(s), but I've been having a hard time finding other single parents with the same goal.

My ideal household would be community-oriented. We'd share our lives in a meaningful way--for example, through some shared meals or outings with the children. I'd also be open to sharing childcare on occasion. I'm a vegetarian, ! though am not adverse to meat in the house, and would definitely like to limit television watching.

My ideal parent housemate would be financially stable, easy- going, patient, and fun-loving, while also being a positive role model for the children.

I'm looking for advice on how to connect with other single parents looking for a shared household in the North Oakland, Berkeley, Montclair, Rockridge, or Lake Merritt areas.


Have you tried The service is headquartered in San Francisco and was founded by a single mother for other single mothers seeking cooperative living situations. On their website you can post your profile describing your lifestyle, parenting philosophy, housing preferences, etc. Though I haven't paid the registration fee ($30) required to read and send emails to prospective housing partners, it seems to be the most promising resource that I've seen so far. Good luck! Amy