New Cohousing Movement Sweeping Senior Community Across U.S. Topic of Local Discussion

Published : Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | 6:06 AM

A cohousing complex in Europe. Photo by Dawid Cie?lik

Pasadena-area seniors can learn more about a new movement that’s sweeping the senior community in the United States, after it gained ground in Denmark: senior co-housing.

On Thursday, January 24, Senior Housing Specialist and Gerontologist Alexandria Levitt, who started Levitt Cohousing, a company that works with developers and groups looking to create senior cohousing in Southern California, will be speaking about the subject during a talk at the Pasadena Central Library’s Dwight Auditorium, starting at 7 p.m.

According to the American Community Survey, 27.2 percent of Pasadenans are aged 55 or older. Many of them could definitely benefit from gaining more information about senior co-housing.

In Denmark, co-housing, or co-living, began as an intentional community of private homes whose owners decided to cooperatively own and use outdoor spaces around the homes, as well as commonly owned indoor spaces.

Typically, a co-housing resident or renter can get a private bedroom and can spring for a private bathroom, but shares the kitchen, living room and other communal spaces with the other residents.

Units are furnished adequately, and the rent usually includes services that aren’t covered in other apartments, including utilities and Wi-Fi.

Co-living complexes have grown fairly common in European cities and have begun to spring up in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other American urban areas. The model, for now, is still in its infancy and is considered experimental.

According to Levitt Co-Housing, co-housing members manage their communities together, and actively come together to learn, support each other, and enjoy life. the movement operates on six basic principles that define what makes cohousing different from other types of collaborative living: a participatory process, neighborhood design, common facilities, resident management, non-hierarchical structure and decision-making, and no shared community economy.

A guide through the co-housing and senior co-housing model, and an explanation of the principles of the movement, is published on the Levitt Co-Housing website, www.levittcoho.com.

Alexandria Levitt specializes in community engagement and strategic partnerships around senior co-housing. She is a member of the Senior Citizen Commission of South Pasadena, and is President of the nonprofit SAGE Senior Cohousing Advocates.

Levitt will talk about how the co-housing model is growing in the U.S., and how successful senior co-housing communities are making life easier for Southern California seniors.

For more information, visit www.cityofpasadena.net/library/event/senior-cohousing-a-progressive-and-creative-model-of-housing-for-ages-50. No RSVP is required.

The Pasadena Central Library is located at 285 East Walnut Street in Pasadena.

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