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Prairie Hill Cohousing, Iowa City IA

by Carolyn
Cohousing Openings + Real Estate

Iowa City Cohousing is building 36 owner-occupied, attached homes and a Common House for shared activities. Homes on Prairie Hill, ranging from 515 square-foot studios to 1290 square-foot, two-story, four-bedroom duplexes, are clustered around a Common House. Twenty-five are sold and 16 were occupied by August 2019. Four additional homes will be completed by winter 2019/2020, three of which are sold.

One new home, a 670 square-foot, lower-level one-bedroom flat in a two-story fourplex, will be available for sale and completion by early 2020. Facing south, this home has many windows on three sides. The new owner could select cabinets, countertops, flooring, sinks, paint colors and appliances.  (See pictures and floor plans.) Two additional 800 square-foot, two-bedroom flats in a similar two-story fourplex now in the design stage will be ready to move in by summer 2020. New members could reserve them and participate in making the final plans.

Our homes are all-electric with Energy Star heating and cooling equipment. Buildings are super-insulated and sited for optional solar collectors on their roofs.  They are built to LEED silver standards. The Common House has two guest rooms, a big kitchen and dining room and spaces for varied activities from ping pong to movie night to origami lessons.

The cohousing community holds weekly shared meals and frequent potlucks.  We offer low-cost wifi and cable TV. Prairie Hill is on bus lines, and it is located to be walkable to the University of Iowa, downtown Iowa City, an elementary school, and restaurants and stores. As in many intentional communities, we share tools, resources, and skills and trade child-and pet-care with community members.

Prairie Hill is the first cohousing community in Iowa.  We are committed to being a diverse, inclusive community.  With a dead-end private street, Prairie Hill is a safe place for kids, their families and singles too.  Pets are also welcome.

Nearly 4 acres of our 8-acre site has been reserved for gardens, orchards, prairie, and open space with room to play and places to explore. There’s a great view of the surrounding countryside from our hilltop.  A small city park is adjacent to our property, and a new, large multi-faceted city park is within walking distance.

Iowa City Cohousing has been awarded grants and tax credits to build some affordable homes and to offer down-payment assistance to several income-qualified owners.  We also have grants to develop our land sustainably with prairie grasses, a bioswale, and a detention basin designed to maintain stormwater run-off on our property.

Prairie Hill is located in a cosmopolitan community frequently rated as one of the best places to live—fourth on the livability index for 2019, for example.  We have Big-Ten sports and world-class cultural offerings.  Iowa City was the first of two UNESCO Cities of Literature in the United States, home to excellent independent bookstores, an annual book festival, and book and poetry readings several times a week.

As host of the first-in-the nation test of presidential candidates’ voter appeal, Iowa is a great place to get a retail-level view of politics.  Virtually all of the already-announced candidates for the 2020 presidential election have already visited the Iowa City public library, bars or restaurants, the University of Iowa campus, and people’s homes, and they will return.  We have the rare opportunity here to ask a candidate a question face-to face and advocate for the issues important to us when they are listening.

Contact Carolyn at:    [email protected]

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