Homewood Cohousing - Minneapolis

Homewood Cohousing Vision Statement - Aug 1996
Building the Urban Village - 1996 article for community paper.
Newspaper Article about Homewood Neighborhood - Pillars Project
Homewood Cohousing description at Fellowship of Intentional Communities 2005
Old Updates for Homewood Cohousing 

--- Blog ---

Oct. 31, 2008
1215 Russell got renovated and sold and new residents.  Same with the house across the alley.
Two houses that looked like they may have become available did not. So there are currently no
houses available except for the double bungalow at Plymouth Av.  It and the church have been
purchased by a congregation that hopes to renovate it if possible.  With the state of the
economy there may be changes.

March 1, 2007
The house at 1215 Russell Av N which has been vacant for about 2 years
is being repaired by the son-in-law of one neighbor. The house is adjacent
to Fred and Becca so there would be an opportunity for shared yards.
We would very much like to have community oriented folks living in this house.

The house will be available when it is completed in a few months. The
house has 3+ bedrooms, large dining room and living room with fireplace.
The kitchen and bathroom will be completely new down to the studs.  The
house has a stone exterior, and will have a new roof and an attached
double garage. The expected price is about $200K.
More updates on this see Homewood house

Feb 21, 2007

While "Homewood Cohousing" continues to be stalled and we basically do
not use that name, there have been some encouraging events on the block.
We have some new neighbors on the two blocks that make up our "block
club".  We had a block club meeting recently and decided to meet about
quarterly.  In preparation we updated our block club "map" - list of
households in geographic order.  We also gathered email addresses
which we had not done systematically before.  We have addresses for
about 25 of 35 occupied houses - there are still 3 vacant houses. On the
way home from the block club meeting some of us decided to start a
informal block club video nights. Our house has been doing this for some
time with one one other neighbor and now with email it is easy to invite
others. We've watched Brokeback Mountain and are planning to watch, Blue
Vinyl, Dream Girls, Tuesdays with Morrie and maybe Oliver's Travels.

It's not a block club event but several nearby neighbors are cooperating to
assist a neighbor who has Parkinson's Disease.  Basically we are
organizing extensive "visits" during which we can be helpful.  I see it as
sort of like Tuesday's with Morrie and feel I am gaining as much as I am giving.

The house next door (1215 Russell Av N ) is still vacant but it is being
repair and will be available when it is ready. I don't currently have an
estimate of when that will be but it will be a while. It is being
repaired by a friend who is the son-in-law of our good neighbors the
Peterson's whose name is Mike Totall.

He is basically doing the job by himself but I may lend a hand from time
to time - some jobs go much better with two people.  Today we rigged up a
way to communicate from house to house suing an extension of my door bell
and FRS radios.

Feb 28, 2005

"Homewood Cohousing" has largely stalled tho I hesitate to say it is
dead.  Because of the "retrofit" nature of the effort, it was always
assumed to be a long term effort of recruiting interested people to move
into houses that become available.  We have missed several such
opportunities - been unable to recruit people when 3 different houses
have become available.  And one member has moved away.  On the other
hand we continue to have a friendly, cooperative block.  Tho we have
seldom had potluck suppers lately, we did have one about 10 days ago. We
used to have these about monthly several years ago but only when I
organized them. I never managed to get the group to take responsibility
for making them happen.  We are so small - now 2 "member" households and
3-6 associated households (very loosely defined) that it takes a fair
amount of calling to even pick a date for a potluck that will have
reasonable attendance.   The recent potluck had 6 households

We do have other informal contact, typically one-on-one contacts with
neighbors. We do a lot with neighbors. We've exchanged house keys with
one neighbor. I do minor house repairs and favors for neighbors,
occasionally borrow a neighbor's  car; we get prepared food, often
leftovers from one neighbor.  I helped one neighbor with computer tasks
to write a self published book and I sometimes use their printer and
photocopy equipment. I'm meeting another neighbor this afternoon to work
on a computer programming task for the organization Missing Children
Minnesota (my wife, is on the MCM board and recruited me). Several
neighbors are coming and some are helping put on a big party to
celebrate my wife's years of family doctoring. (Not held on the block)

So, do we exist.  I've arbitrarily said we do for a recent directory update of
Homewood Cohousing description at Fellowship of Intentional Communities
But barely.  Certainly we are quite different than most cohousing
groups.  Actually, the term "Homewood Cohousing" has seldom been used
here on the block.  I think it would be more accurate to say we have
done some organizing on the block with cohousing-like goals.

There is currently one house unoccupied.  (It was purchased by a friend
of the former 30 some year resident as an investment.  It's unclear what
his plans are for it.) There are other houses for sale in the
neighborhood within a few blocks, further than we've generally conceived
of community members but maybe we need to modify our vision.

This page is maintained by Fred H. Olson fholson at cohousing.org
Retrofit Cohousing
The Cohousing Association of the United States (Coho/US)
Cohousing Minnesota