Village Hill Cohousing

Northampton, Massachusetts, United States

  • Last updated: January 14, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: October 23, 2014

Mission Statement

VILLAGE HILL COHOUSING aspires to be a diverse, multi-generational community committed to compassionate living—through respect, kindness, and generosity for one another, the land, and the wider community in which we live.

Village Hill is a community committed to promoting inclusiveness and respect for all. Members welcome a diversity of cultural and religious backgrounds, race, ethnicity, national origin, family status, veteran/ military background, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, education, and abilities. The goal is for all to feel included and comfortable.

Community Description

VILLAGE HILL COHOUSING is an inclusive, multigenerational community of 32 homes located one mile from the vibrant downtown area of Northampton, Massachusetts, and surrounded by 400 acres of conservation land.
Healthy living, personal growth, mutual support and ecologically sustainable practices – together with personal privacy – are among the community’s values.
Walking and bike paths, plus extensive bus routes make VCH the perfect location for eco-minded families and individuals who want to live lightly on the land in a forward-thinking larger community. The group’s core group of 18 member households is currently working with project developer Transformations, Inc. and Kraus Fitch Architects to cooperatively design the community.
Village Hill seeks new members who wish to lead a life centered in community involvement, ecological sustainability, and supportive friendships.
In July 2014, a land disposition agreement was signed with MassDevelopment that reserved our site of approximately 6 acres on Village Hill. The entire infrastructure of the Village Hill Cohousing site will be zero net energy construction and will be inspired by the International Institute’s “Living Building Challenge,” balancing a great reduced ecological impact with sustainability and livability. In December 2015, the city of Northampton approved definitive plans for the Village Hill cohousing community. Site work is slated to begin in the spring of 2016, with the first homes ready for occupancy by the end of the year.
About Village Hill Cohousing:
• Core values: Compassionate living, sustainability, community and connection
• Working towards building a diverse, multi-generational community
• Zero-net energy homes and common house, designed to produce as much energy as they use over the course of the year
• Permaculture principles and design, including edible trees, bushes and plants
• Green space, gardens and beautiful views, surrounded by protected woodlands
• Variety of unit sizes, types and prices
• A short walk or bike ride to downtown Northampton
• Close to restaurants, entertainment, arts, music, education (hub of the “Five-College” area)
• Close to bike rail trails, hiking, snowshoe and cross-country ski trails, rivers and ponds, and many other rich opportunities for outdoor activities
• Local bus line stop and rail trail spur are in the neighborhood
• Bus and Amtrak service to major cities; 40-minute drive to Bradley International Airport
• Centrally located in New England: about 3.5 hours to New York City, less than 2 hours to Boston

About Northampton:
A city of 30,000 people, Northampton is a unique and special blend of urban and rural, historic and contemporary, intellectual, artsy, athletic, and entrepreneurial energy. For more information, visit:
If our shared values of compassionate living, sustainability, and community and connection resonate with you and you are interested in learning more, please get in touch with us!


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property)
  • Location: Urban


  • Status: We have land in the permitting or zoning stage
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes
  • Planned number of residences: 32
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Multi-family homes
  • Additional Comments:

    • Project is approved by the city of Northampton.
    • Sustainability Practices: The homes will be super-insulated, with 12-inch-thick walls filled with high-density cellulose, triple-glazed windows and 18 inches of cellulose in the attic. Solar electric panels will provide energy to run on-site high-efficiency air-source heat pumps, hot-water heaters and plug loads. Low-flow showers, faucets and toilets will conserve water. Permaculture plantings and a vegetable garden will provide local food.


  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes


  • Decision Making: Approval by 75 percent vote.
  • Identified Leader: No


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: Encouraged or suggested
  • Additional Comments:

    • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes: A monthly maintenance fee will be charged.
    • Required labor contribution: Yes. Adults who are physically able will have monthly jobs.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%


  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Dietary restrictions: none; residents eat what they choose.

  • Additional Comments:

    • Shared meals: optional/once or twice a week.
    • Alcohol use: permitted.
    • Tobacco use: restricted to certain areas.
    • Spiritual practice: diversity welcome; members worship as they choose.
    • Education: public/private schooling is off-site in the city of Northampton and surrounding communities.
    • Pet: Permitted, two per household.
    • Village Hill is a community open to residents of every age, sexual orientation, gender identification, family status, military background, national origin, race, religion, ethnic background and physical ability.


Sustainability, ecology, permaculture, net-zero, zero-net, compassion, multi-generational, solar