About

Eighteen households of various sizes and configurations make up Vashon Cohousing. We have a mature and bountiful orchard. Our common house – with three guestrooms, a large dining room and a full commercial kitchen – is a place where we host friends and families, hold parties, share meals and gather for meetings. More than eight acres of natural areas – rich in bird life – surround our homes.

Apple cider pressings. Potlucks. Bonfires. Bird walks. We find ways to create community, engage children and enjoy each other’s company. We also work together. Monthly work parties, committee assignments and regular meetings are all part of ensuring our land and common house are cared for and our community life thrives.

Why Cohousing

Adults who are more socially connected are healthier and live longer than their more isolated peers, and social disconnectedness and perceived isolation seem to be independently associated with lower levels of self-rated physical health.

However, many of us find it gets increasingly difficult to maintain a sense of connectedness. Marla Paul describes the problem well in her book The Friendship Crisis. “Simply put, we’re on our own more often now. The old structures don’t function the way they used to. We hurdle through life and don’t have time to get to know the people on our block. Many of us are flung far from parents, siblings, and cousins. Work friendships fracture as companies slash budgets and employees, and more people are isolated in home offices as telecommuters or in home-based businesses. Even marriage is a wobbly source of both companionship and social webbing. … Clearly, we need to craft our own tribes.”

Cohousing is an answer to this need for social webbing. Originating in Denmark in the 1960s, cohousing has become popular in both Europe and the United States over the past two decades. Nearly 200 cohousing communities exist in the United States today, ranging in size and shape but nearly all premised on the belief that people are happier, healthier and more resilient if they live in community.

Several news stories have explored the cohousing movement. Here’s one from The New York Times, where a young woman who grew up at Vashon Cohousing is quoted!

Why Vashon

Vashon Cohousing is situated on 12 acres in a location many of us find ideal: Vashon town – small, vibrant and fun – is a five-minute walk one direction. Island Center Forest – 363 acres of publicly owned woods laced with nine miles of trails – is a five-minute walk the other direction.

Adjacent to cohousing are five acres of farmland owned by a nonprofit community land trust. Some cohousers lease portions of the land, where they raise chickens or grow blueberries and flowers. A group called Shoulder-to-Shoulder – comprised of members of cohousing as well as other people from the island – runs a small communal farm, where they grow organic vegetables for their families and friends.

Vashon is part of unincorporated King County, which provides a variety of services to the island. Metro buses operate daily, running the length of the island. A water taxi, owned and operated by the county, provides direct service to downtown Seattle, enabling islanders to commute to jobs in the city. Washington State Ferries also provides ferry service: a ferry terminal on the north end of the island takes passengers to Fauntleroy in West Seattle and Southworth on the Kitsap Peninsula; a terminal on the south end provides access to Tacoma.

Join

Interested in Cohousing?

Don’t wait for an opening to visit! Houses move quickly when available, so the best way to join our community is to get to know us ahead of time.

Our advice: use your interest in cohousing as an excuse to enjoy a get-away on Vashon. Hop on the ferry, stay in a guestroom in our common room, meet the community at a potluck or happy hour and explore Vashon! We’re a quick walk into town and abut miles of forest trails – you’ll have a good time no matter what.

Contact us to schedule a visit.

Homes Available
No homes currently available.

Contact

Whether you’re looking for a tour, have a question about availability, or just want to ask a question, this form is the best way to reach us: