Last updated: August 26, 2009 (4 years ago)
Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Lake Claire Cohousing

(Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

  • Status: Established
  • Formed: 1994  Established: 1992
  • Visitors accepted: No
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Contact Name: Lake Claire Cohousing, attn John Greene
  • Phone: 404-687-0179
  • Address:
    258 Connecticut Ave. NE
    Atlanta, Georgia, 30307
    United States
  • Visitor Process

    Visitors accepted: No

  • Membership Process

    Open to new Members: Yes

Mission Statement:

Sharing, Resource Conservation

Community Description:

We are an urban cohousing community with 12 townhouses and a common house on one acre. About half the households have children, and these kids are like siblings to each other. The adults range in age from 30 to 50. We have common dinners twice a week and potlucks several times a month. Our common meals are vegetarian, but only half our members eat vegetarian in their own homes. The architecture is beautiful and the gardens are lush, lending a European-village feeling to our small site. Our small size (13 households) makes for an intimate group, but it’s harder to get things done. We recycle, we compost, and we have a small organic garden. We make decisions by consensus.

The Lake Claire Cohousing community is located in the Lake Claire neighborhood of Atlanta, just west of Decatur, just east of Candler Park and Little Five Points, and a few miles south of Emory University. We’re only about a ten-minute walk from MARTA, Atlanta’s rapid-transit system, on which you can easily travel to downtown Atlanta, Decatur, and the airport. We are also next door to the Lake Claire Community Land Trust, a sort of homemade neighborhood park which features a gazebo, a sandbox, a water garden, a fire circle, a sweat lodge, and even a stage for performances.

Lake Claire was the first cohousing community built in Georgia and one of the first in the Southeast. (In the Atlanta area, we have since been joined by the East Lake Ecovillage in south Decatur.) There are 13 households at Lake Claire, along with a common house, two courtyards, fountains, and a community garden—all on about one acre of land.

What is cohousing?

Cohousing began in Denmark in the late 1960s, spread throughout Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, and then made its way to the US beginning in the late 1980s. Katherine McCamant and Charles Durrett, husband and wife architects from San Francisco, lived in various cohousing communities in Denmark for a few years and then wrote a book entitled “Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves.” That book helped spread the cohousing concept to America, where the first community was built in Berkeley. There are now several dozen cohousing communities throughout the US, and more than a hundred groups in the process of development.

Cohousing is an attempt to reconcile the need for greater community with the need for privacy and personal space.

Population

  • Adult Members: 29
  • Child Members: 9
  • Percent Women: 51-60%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Visitors accepted: No
  • Open to new Members: Yes

Social Factors

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Buddhist, Protestant/Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian Universalist, Muslim, Eclectic (integrates pieces from many religions), Other
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling

Government

  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No

Land and Buildings

  • Housing Provided: Yes, for all or most members.
  • Location: Urban, Urban
  • Area: 1 acres
  • Land owned by: The Community
  • Current number of residences: 12
  • Additional Comments: 13

Labor and Money

  • Shared Income: Members have completely independent finances
  • Shared Expenses: Little or no share of expenses
  • Required Labor contribution: 0
  • Join Fee: No
  • Regular Fee: 0
  • Additional Comments: 7 hours per month

    HOA dues of around $150/month

Diet

  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Dietary Practice: Mostly Vegetarian
  • Additional comments: All common meals are vegetarian

Cohousing Info

  • Building site status: Completed
  • Year construction was (or will be) completed: 1997
  • Shared common building: No
We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.