How to Start a Commune - Paris Group Realty, LLC Portland OR
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How to Start a Commune


Exploring the World of Co-Housing: Benefits, Challenges, and Starting Your Own Community

Communes or communal housing is more commonly known today as “co-housing”. Co-housing, according to Wikipedia is “is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Each attached or single-family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically feature a common house, which may include a large kitchen and dining area, laundry, and recreational spaces”. Co-housing may also be in the form of apartments in a building or portion of a building, such as the “Common space Community” in Syracuse, New York. As with any housing community, there are both challenges and benefits to living in a co-housing. Members of co-housing communities site health benefits thanks to the decreased loneliness, while others find the increased socialization daunting.

While most people seem apprehensive about joining an existing co-housing community, a lot of people want to know if it’s possible to start their own “commune”. While it may sound ideal, it’s also quite complex! Once you have 3 or 4 households that want to create a co-housing community, there are a lot of steps involved – in addition to finding the land or space you want to buy. According to, these are just the first steps you’d need to take in order to start your own co-housing project:

  1. Create a vision/goal statement to define the intentions and directions of the community.
  2. Create a group decision and communications process.
  3. Create a financial structure.
  4. Form an LLC (limited liability company) or incorporate.
  5. Create bylaws for the community.
  6. Open a separate bank account for the community.
  7. Collect assessments from members.
  8. Do your research and learn from already-operating co-housing communities.

Additionally, there are steps to register your community, various tax laws for co-housing, and of course, developing and building on the land or space you have purchased. So, if you do plan on creating your own co-housing community, be sure you know what you’re getting into! For more information, you can visit

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