Cornerstone Village Cohousing

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

  • Last updated: July 5, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

Urban Cohousing Community

Community Description


PURPOSE ~ We have come together to live in cohousing because we believe that people living in community live richer and happier lives. We value the cooperative process of operating our own community. In today’s world, many neighborhoods do not serve the supportive function that they did in previous generations. An intentional, collaborative community can contribute to an individual’s sense of belonging and their ability to contribute to the well-being of others and society as a whole.

FINANCIAL/LEGAL DESCRIPTION ~ Structured as a condominium all of our 32 units, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to 3 or 4-bedroom two-story apartments and townhouses, are owner-occupied. There are a few very rare rental opportunities, usually sharing a unit with others. All pricing is comparable to the standard Cambridge market.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION ~ We are located in a diverse neighborhood with easy access to public transportation, stores and open spaces such as the adjacent Linear Park, for both pedestrian and biking use. The community design maximizes open shared space, such as gardens and play space. A central common house offers room for shared dinners and other community activities. We also have two dens, an exercise room, arts & crafts room, and a kids’ playroom.

ACCESSIBILITY ~ The community is fully visitable/accessible for mobility disabled persons, both residents and visitors.

COMMUNITY ~ Physical design encourages spontaneous interaction. Besides regular resident-prepared community meals, we create community through shared activities, work, play and joy. Learning and teaching of skills between members, especially across generations, is encouraged. Interdependence and mutual assistance are promoted as an integral part of daily life. Many of us are involved in the neighborhood as well as the wider community. We use the consensus as our mode of decision-making.

DIVERSITY ~ The community promotes cultural, racial and economic diversity through a broad outreach, the inclusion of affordable units and a welcoming attitude. We welcome families with children, singles, married couples, empty nesters and same-sex households.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY ~ Cohousing allows for a lighter, less consumer-oriented lifestyle. Economies of scale abound, including sharing of tools, child care, and guest rooms. We recycle, compost, conserve water and try to be as environmentally responsible as we can.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1993
  • Start Living Together: 2001
  • Visitors accepted: Yes, rarely
  • Open to new Members: Not currently, but there is a list or possibly in the future
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address:
  • Contact Name: Cornerstone Village Cohousing
  • Community Address:
    175 Harvey St.
    (click below if interested in becoming a member)
    Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2140
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Location: Urban


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 1.3 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 32
  • Housing Provided: Purchase
  • Land owned by: The Community
  • Additional Comments:

    Two buildings contain a total of 23 apartments, and there are nine townhouses. Apartments include one- and two-bedroom flats and three or four-bedroom two-story units. Townhouses are three-story plus basements, with three or four bedrooms. All units and common spaces in the community are mobility-handicapped visitable, and all multiple-story units have a powder room on the first floor.


  • Adult Members: 44
  • Child Members: 23
  • Non-member Residents: 3
  • Percent Women: 61-70%
  • Percent Men: 31-40%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes, rarely
  • Membership Process:

    We encourage people who are interested in living here to attend at least one common meal and one community general meeting, as well as coming to understand our governing and community participation policies. If there is still interest, then people can go to the CONTACT page ( on our website, click the “CONTACT US” link, then fill out and submit the very brief form to be notified when a unit comes on the market.


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

    Elected Managing Board performs some administrative activities, in which they are is fully responsible to the community. Each of five board members serves a two-year term, with 2-3 members rotating off at the end of their second year, to be replaced by 2-3 newly-elected members.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 1
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Each member is expected to serve on at least one committee, perform one hour per week on community chores, and work one three-hour shift on a percentage of regularly scheduled community work days.

    On rare occasions, assessments are required for capital expenditures.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Workshop, Large Scale Kitchen, Swingsets & play areas, Gym or sports area, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: About once a week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Sometimes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Common meals provide options for vegetarians and often for vegans, as well. Food allergies are also taken into consideration.

  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

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


condominium, urban, consensus