Cornerstone CoHousing

Semester: 2016 Fall

Students: Ashleigh Ruggles, Emily Joung, and Jose Alvarez

Cornerstone Village Cohousing Community is a 32-unit residential community in North Cambridge. It is an owner-occupied intentional community, meaning that housing is designed and built with input from the residents, and buildings are clustered around a central common area, including a community dining room where residents may share meals. Meetings are run by consensus and processes intend to make sure all voices are heard before decisions are made.

Cornerstone was an HNMCP client in 2011. The resulting Conflict Resolution Report analyzed the disputes that had developed over the life of the community. While the community was able to develop a shared values statement and make some operational changes to their consensus process, some conflicts remain and impact the community’s ability to come together on important decisions. These conflicts are often emblematic of different approaches to communal living and differing conceptions of the consensus process. This fall, HNMCP will return to Cornerstone to work with the community on one conflict–the community replacement reserve plan–with the goal of facilitating the drafting of a path forward, as well as providing tools for capacity-building in conflict management for future use by the community.


Activities & Deliverables

  • Interviewing residents to understand current unresolved conflicts around the replacement reserve plan process and how residents communicate about them;
  • Attending and leading meetings; and
  • Working with community members to draft a path and timeline to get to agreement about the replacement repair reserve.
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