What is cohousing?
What is the overall plan for Rocky Corner?
How do you make decisions together and get the work done?
What are the plans for the common house?
What is the Bethany area like?
How will the Rocky Corner land be used?
Can you tell me more about the homes?
- How much will Rocky Corner homes cost?
- How do I apply for an affordable home?
- What are the monthly charges?
- How are the homes heated and cooled?
- What is the masonry stove option?
- Will the homes have solar panels?
- Will there be a work or participation requirement?
- What will the common facilities include?
- Will there be space for members to grow some of their own food?
- Data sheet for one-bedroom model
- Data sheet for two-bedroom model
- Data sheet for three-bedroom model
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone from our welcoming committee will be happy to explain the process to you and provide an application form. We encourage you to apply if you think your household income in the year following move-in might fall below the area median income for your household size. The income limits change each year, and we post the new limits when they become available on the Applying for an affordable home at Rocky Corner page.
State law requires that we announce the budget for the first year before we sell any homes. So we’ve done that. The monthly maintenance charges for all homes, regardless of home size or family size, for the first year are $295.
After we are all living in cohousing, we will be able to decide as a community on each year’s budget based on our experience, with everyone having an equal voice in the decision. Monthly charges may decrease or increase as a consequence.
Monthly maintenance charges include operating expenses, insurance, debt service, and capital reserves but do not include utilities or assessments we agree to impose on ourselves for new improvements.
Homes are built on a concrete slab that has four inches of dense foam insulation beneath it. Walls and roof are super-insulated. Large south-facing windows allow the slab to act as a heat sink on winter days, absorbing the heat from the sun and releasing slowly for hours. The windows are shaded by an overhang during the heat of summer to help keep the home cool.
Aside from these passive features that help minimize the need for heating and cooling, homes will be equipped with air-source heat pumps, also called mini-splits. This is a ductless heating and cooling technology. Small, quiet heat exchangers are located near the ceiling in different parts of the home. These circulate air within the room, tempering it and removing excess moisture. Each unit is controlled separately with a remote. The working fluid (refrigerant) and water drain lines run through the walls to a condenser-compressor outside. The source of heat is the ambient air temperature. These units are quite efficient down to zero Fahrenheit in the winter, and they also work as air conditioners in the summer. They use about a quarter as much electricity as electric baseboard heaters, and the electricity to run them can be produced by solar panels on the roof.
An optional heat source is a masonry stove. If you enjoy heating with wood and expect to be able to do so, you can reduce the amount of electricity needed for heating and reduce the size of your solar array accordingly.
A masonry stove is a northern European style of heater. It has a small, tight firebox in which you build a quick, hot fire that burns down in about half an hour. The stove has a tortuous flue that transfers heat to the body of the stove, which is made of stone or tile. The stove then radiates gentle heat for the next several hours.
Typically, you would build two fires a day, morning and evening. The body of the stove gets warm but not too hot to touch; in that regard it’s much safer than a typical iron woodstove. It’s also much more efficient and much cleaner burning. Because the fire is very hot, the flue gases consist of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and not much else.
The construction option that we offer is for the stove’s air intake pipe to be laid in the ground before the concrete slab is poured. This pipe goes directly into the firebox when the stove is installed. The construction option price includes the air intake arrangement. It does not include the price of the stove. We are obtaining our stoves from a Quebec company called Les Pierres Steatite (steatite is also known as soapstone).
Roofs are solar-ready. We are actively looking at the possibility of a micro-grid solar system that would supply the entire neighborhood.
If we do not get the micro-grid, owners will have the option of installing solar panels, and we assume that we can buy our solar systems cooperatively from one vendor to save money. You can buy or lease, but if you buy, you can probably wrap the cost into your mortgage, which may be a financial advantage to you.
During construction, for the sake of our own safety and yours, we can show you portions of the property that are outside the active construction area. From there, we can stand and point. During working hours, we can arrange to escort you into the construction area by giving notice to the construction manager. In that case, you will be required to wear sturdy, closed shoes and otherwise dress appropriately. We will lend you a hardhat and a reflective vest. Contact email@example.com to arrange a visit.
Most cohousing communities have a structured work requirement for their members. The Rocky Corner community places a high value on active participation. In a self-managed community there is always an abundance of opportunities to pitch in and get involved, with a wide variety of types of work to fit the talents, interests, and limitations of individuals. Those who participate in this way often report that working closely together with others is an especially satisfying way of connecting and feeling a strong sense of community.
We are presently using a governance system called sociocracy to organize the work we have done to make Rocky Corner a reality.
One of the benefits of participating in the work needed to maintain the property is that doing so means we can rely less on hired help and more on ourselves. This reduces our operating costs and will allow us to keep monthly fees in check. Working side by side also strengthens relationships!
We plan to have:
- A large commercial kitchen and a dining room that can accommodate community meetings, social events, and shared meals.
- Smaller rooms for various activities based on what Rocky Corner residents want to do in them.
- A lounge with a large masonry stove; a place to read, talk, play games and gather together.
- Two maker spaces, one a workshop with power tools and another for studio arts.
- Multipurpose room for playing, a teen lounge, space for family parties, committee meetings, and formal and informal gatherings of all types.
Many of us are already involved in serious gardening and even farming.We are committed to including ample space to continue these contributions to the health and resilience of our community and our neighborhood.
There will be space for individuals to have their own allotments in a community garden as well as opportunities to participate in a CSA or to raise ones own crops or animals on a somewhat larger scale.