In the Industry, it is good to keep up with growing trends and competition. In that regard, the Pioneer Valley Cohousing Community in Amherst, Massachusetts is an example.
For now, cohousing communities are still a small part of the senior living sector, but their appeal is increasing. There are 165 such communities nationwide, with another 140 in the planning stages, according to the New York Times in an article published in the Sunday, January 21st edition. They are single family homes built with a multi-generational residents mix, with seniors moving into their own homes while their children can move into theirs in the same community. (Ready family daycare service!) Residents pay into a fund to maintain facilities and agree on their use. Residents own their own homes and can sell them when they so desire. There is a community building where meetings and group dinners are held on occasion. Most of the communities are set up as homeowners associations, with bylaws governing the residents. And decisions regarding common areas are made by consensus of all residents. The objective is to restore a lost sense of community. One of the biggest advantage of the arrangement is the opportunity to lessen the isolation and loneliness that so many older Americans suffer.
ALFs differ in their residential mix and meet the needs of those who could not live in a cohousing community alone. Acknowledging the goals of cohousing communities, however, and seeking to implement their goals where possible and beneficial could redound to the benefit of the ALF industry.