Phoenix Commons

Oakland, California, United States

  • Last updated: October 23, 2017 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: July 31, 2014

Mission Statement

Independence Through Interdependence: Phoenix Commons is designed to maximize its members’ health, happiness, autonomy and interconnectedness as they age in a supportive and caring environment.

Community Description

Phoenix Commons is a cohousing community for active adults aged 55 and above located in Oakland’s Jingletown neighborhood along the estuary at the foot of the Park Street Bridge to Alameda. Open for residence since March, 2016, in 41 units built with universal design principles, Phoenix Commons was the vision for aging well in community of Chris Zimmerman and Lauren Zimmerman Cook, co-founders of Elder Village Development.

We the members of this intentional community are learning on the job the principles of participation, collaboration and consensus decision-making while working together and through committees to address community needs and concerns in such areas as wellness promotion, facility and common space management, finance, governance, landscaping, social and community engagement, and twice-weekly common meals.

Our members come from a wide variety of backgrounds and geographies, contributing their skills and talents to create a dynamic and socially engaged community. They have various reasons for choosing to live here, in community with others, as we age in place together. Many of our members still work full-time while others are active in a variety of recreational, cultural social, civic and political advocacy activities. All are committed to building and sustaining our community and the social connectedness that has been associated with health and well-being in older adulthood.


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


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Current Residence Types: Multi-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 41
  • Planned number of residences: 41
  • Planned Residence Types: Multi-family homes
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)


  • Adult Members: 31
  • Child Members: 0
  • Non-member Residents: 0
  • Percent Women: 71-80%
  • Percent Men: 21-30%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    To schedule a visit, please contact us at (510) 217-8527 or [email protected]

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Must meet current members in various settings before becoming a member and purchasing property.

  • Additional Comments:

    Phoenix Commons has a Health Care Committee that continually assesses the community’s health care needs and explores community solutions, if appropriate. Members are encouraged to further support each other’s health and independence through informal arrangements facilitated by members’ proximity to one another.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Phoenix Commons is committed to making decisions by consensus, with a 75% supermajority decision rule available as a final resort when consensus cannot be reached.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 4
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Library, Workshop, Hot tub or hot springs, Large Scale Kitchen, Stage or Auditorium, Waterfront access, Gym or sports area, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, exceptionally.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers)
  • 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.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices)
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Healthcare Options: Partial, Special, or Limited Community Plan, Up to each family or individual

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Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Coho/US, AEC Living, East Bay Cohousing


Senior Cohousing, Cooperative, Aging in Place, Aging in Community, Active Adults 55+