Songaia Cohousing Community

Bothell, Washington, United States

  • Last updated: March 15, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: January 15, 2005

Mission Statement

The Songaia Neighborhood strives to collaboratively create a vibrant, rewarding, and sustainable community.

Community Description

The Songaia Neighborhood is located about 20 miles north of Seattle, where our 17 homes are surrounded by a small forest, organic gardens, orchards, and a meadow. Our multi-generational community was established in 1993 and is still expanding; we currently have about 40 residents and are recruiting for the purchase and development of additional land. Songaia is well-known for our activism within the communities movement, and we welcome others who aspire to have a connected and sustainable lifestyle.

Our community life is active; we gather for five shared meals per week and celebrate, work, and pursue learning together. As a result of these many connections, we have grown to be a strong web of friends and neighbors. We have an ethical commitment to hearing all voices in our community and therefore use a consensus decision-making process and rotational leadership. In community processes, we aim to create a space that is a supportive environment for people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests.

The Songaia Neighborhood is actually composed of multiple intentional communities. Our original property is the Songaia Cohousing Association, but over the last few years we have expanded to include two additional communities; Life Song Commons and New Earth Song. That being said, for most practical purposes we function as a single unit. The Songaia Cohousing Association has 13 member-owned 1-to-3-bedroom duplex units (including several studio apartments) which are clustered around a common green space. New Earth Song is in the process of developing their half-acre with a single-family house into seven residential units. Life Song Commons is located on 1.3 acres with a large house and small cottage, and functions as a shared household. We are planning to grow our neighborhood, so if you might be interested in joining us please visit our website for more information.

Our desire for sustainability inspires us to share resources and skills whenever possible. Members and Associates (including non-residents) have access to our extensive facilities and land. The common house includes eating and meeting spaces, two guest rooms, laundry facilities, a playroom for our children and much more. Our barn has a greenhouse, food pantries, tool shop (woodworking, electrical, auto), ceramics room, and storage. The land includes a small forest, wetlands, several organic gardens, two orchards, a central lawn, and a meadow.

We also aim to connect with local, regional, and national communities. Because of our work to create self-sustaining food sources on our property, we have become involved in the local permaculture and organic agriculture movements. Our community is also devoted to education; we host a vibrant internship program that attracts volunteers through WWOOF, Bastyr University, and University of Washington Bothell. Songaia has provided land and support for the Rites of Passage Journeys, which runs programs that connect people to the wilderness and assist them in life transitions. Additionally, we are active participants in the regional and national intentional communities movement.

To learn more, please review our website where you can contact us to arrange a visit or ask questions about our plans for growth.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1987
  • Start Living Together: 1990
  • 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.songaia.com
  • Contact Name: Songaia Cohousing Community
  • Phone: 425-481-8044
  • Community Address:
    22401 39th Ave SE
    Bothell, Washington, 98021
    United States
  • FIC Membership

    Since 1996
    This Community is an FIC Member
  • Location

About

  • Type(s): Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Programs & Activities: Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, Neighborhood, Community Housing, or Homeowner’s Association, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming
  • Location: Suburban

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 10.6 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 15
  • Planned number of residences: 15
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house, Lots to build on, Nearby development in process
  • Housing Provided: Purchase, Rental, Work-exchange
  • Land owned by: A subgroup of community members
  • Additional Comments:

    Additional land through our affiliated communities

Membership

  • Adult Members: 40
  • Child Members: 6
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Songaia is exploring expansion with new rentals and homes for sale. While no units are available now, we may have rental and purchase space available in the future. We invite people who might be interested in living at Songaia to visit our website and add themselves to the Songaia Announcements mailing list. If you are interested in visiting our community, please send us an email to arrange a host for a visit.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Our community has multiple levels of involvement, ranging from more casual associations to full residential ownership.

Government

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

    The Songaia Board of Directors consists of the entire membership.

    MANY decisions are made by individuals without formal process. Larger, community-wide decisions use a decision-board or facilitated group sessions.

Economics

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

Sustainability Practices

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

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Stage or Auditorium, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet, Barn, Forest, Orchards
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide 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), Paleo (no grains, dairy, processed foods, or legumes), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian, Mostly Vegetarian, Vegan Only (plants only, no animal products) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegan., Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Raw or Mostly Raw, Kosher, Halal, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    We have shared dinners Monday through Thursday, with a shared breakfast on Saturday. Food supplies are available less formally for other meals to members of our food program.

    Our Garden to Table Club is responsible for our food program, gardens, and orchards. During the summer and fall months we grow a significant portion of our food.

    our norm is for common meals to meet individual dietary needs and we purchase many specialty food items to accommodate

    its quite diverse, we have a wide variety of dietary practices, including omnivores, vegetarians, high protein, low carb, non-dairy, non-wheat, non-gluten, etc.

    Most alcohol use is in private homes. Beer/wine is sometimes served for special events.

    Tobacco is prohibited in all common areas – as of today, none of the residents smoke.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Protestant, Quaker, Sufi, Native American, Unitarian Universalist, Paganism or Earth Religions, Mixed Eastern Philosophy or Practice, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private School off the property, Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

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

Community Affiliations

New Earth Song, Life Song Commons, Others

Keywords

Songaia Cohousing, New Earth Song, Life Song Commons