Cascadia Commons Cohousing Community

Portland, Oregon, United States

  • Last updated: October 15, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

Sharing, caring community; Living in community can be a little like living in a rock tumbler. We all have rough edges that could use smoothing. It helps to be able to experience misunderstandings and disagreements as opportunities to grow. Cohousing to us means community: child-friendly, elder-friendly, sociable living; cooperative interaction; a chance to make long-term personal connections with neighbors who share many of your values. In many ways we’re like an extended family more than a neighborhood.

Community Description

Cascadia Commons Cohousing is a community of 26 homes and a common house located in a pleasant suburb six miles southwest of the center of Portland, Oregon. We were self-developed over the period beginning with our incorporation as an LLC in 1995 (after a couple of years as a talking group). Construction was completed in 2001. We continue to develop as an “second-generation” community.
We occupy 2.9 acres of land, of which approximately half is legally designated wetlands and wetlands buffer that is required to be maintained in a natural state. Our homes are a mix of renovated townhouses, and newly constructed flats and townhouses. We are a quarter of a mile from good bus service to the center of Portland, a 35-minute ride. It takes about 10-15 minutes by car.
Our current residents range in age from one to 82. We are a mix of singles, single moms, couples, and families. We are ecumenical as to religion, or lack thereof, philosophy, sexual orientation, dietary preferences, and, at least in principle, politics. We share green values of caring for the earth and its creatures.
We are egalitarian in our governance, using consensus decision making, with provision for breaking impasses, as required by Oregon’s condominium law.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1992
  • Start Living Together: 2000
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address: http://www.cascadiacommons.com/
  • Contact Name: Cascadia Commons
  • Phone: 503-650-7169
  • Community Address:
    4377 SW 94th Ave
    Portland, Oregon, 97225
    United States
  • FIC Membership

    Since 2007
    This Community is an FIC Member
  • Location

About

  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Programs & Activities: Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association
  • Location: Suburban

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 2.9 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 26
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental
  • Land owned by: The Community
  • Additional Comments:

    About half of our land is designated wetlands where no develoment is permitted.

    We are legally organized as a condominium community

    26 homes in 12 buildings

    26

Membership

  • Adult Members: 42
  • Child Members: 7
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Personal guests of community members visit by arrangement with their hosts.
    Nonaffiliates contact us by email or telephone. Explain interest and reason for visit. A host will be assigned to work out details.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Only as occupancy of homes change; renters are also welcome (sublet). Prospective buyers tour and meet with current members through joint meals and work parties. It is a mutual decision process. We do keep a waiting list, when there are no sales or rentals available.

  • Additional Comments:

    We’d like to invite more families with young children, but we are open to all; we expect future members to be self sufficient in their income and daily living abilities. Some of our homes and most of our common house areas are ADA accessible.
    We are in the Beaverton School District. Not yet annexed to any city (county, not city property taxes) , part of Washington County.

Government

  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No
  • Additional Comments:

    We have some leadership roles in committees

    Only by the willingness and capacity of some to do more work than others.

    With legally required provision to break impasses

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Screening of finances is by lenders for individual mortgages

    We have a nominal minimum of work/labor of 3 hours per month ( monthly work party) , and required presence at monthly HOA meetings. We also require members to be on one of the organizational committees.

    The costs of becoming a resident/owner are all that is required.

    Regular Home Owners Association dues are prescribed for each home.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 26-49%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Between 26-49%
  • Food produced locally: Almost All, around 90%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Library, Workshop, Hot tub or hot springs, Large Scale Kitchen, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas
  • Internet Available: Yes, individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, We offer a choice
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    About half of adults participate regularly
    Organic community gardens and fruit trees
    We try to use organic food when available. We try to provide options to meet individual restrictions
    Vegetarian options always available
    No smoking or drugs In common house, discouraged on grounds, optional in individual homes, but there are no members who are regular smokers.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Quaker, Sufi, Unitarian Universalist, Mixed Eastern Philosophy or Practice, only on individual basis
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual
  • Additional Comments:

    Some people hike or bike or kayak together. As a community we leave health care to the individuals.

Additional Comments

We have people from various world religions, cultures and are open to more. Currently we have quite a few toddlers and pre-schoolers in our community, looking for playmates 🙂 Some of our projects relate to emergency preparedness ( Portland is in earthquake country) and caring for the Earth, managing our gardens and wetlands.

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Coho/US

Community Affiliations

PDX Cohousing group- Portland quarterly gatherings of many cooperative housing groups. With Google list and facebook page.

Keywords

community: sociable living; cooperative interactions; caring for the Earth.