Cohousing Development Services
Using professionals has been shown to save members money over doing it themselves.
The development process is risky and complex. Working with experienced professionals
reduces the risk and increases the likelihood that the project will be built on time
and on budget.
“I think Ronaye is excellent. She is a detail person. She is also extremely
practical, efficient, experienced, tactful and very personable too!! I personally
think she is the best in Canada for 'getting it done'. Did you know that Roberts
Creek was finished just about on time and ....wait for it .....under budget?!! She
managed the whole project from beginning to end.”
Roberts Creek Cohousing Resident
CDC has provided start-up and development management services for most of the
completed cohousing communities in Canada and has managed projects that have taken
as little as 2 ½ years from initial meeting to move-in.
CDC’s management services involve coordination of all aspects of the cohousing
development process and include: tools and protocols for effective decision-making,
facilitation and consensus training, outreach, member education, site selection and
acquisition, feasibility/market studies, budget and cash flow projections, project
schedules and timelines, professional selection, contract negotiation and
administration, jurisdictional approvals, bookkeeping services, financial management,
legal, financial and organizational agreements and structures, as well as
facilitation of living in community agreements to support you to live harmoniously
in the community you’ve created together.
“I wanted to express my appreciation for the graceful way you led us through
all of our meetings this past weekend. Having led lots of meetings in another life I
know how tiring it is and how important it is that one keep ones gracious way of
dealing with conflicting points of view--even late in the afternoon when everyone,
including yourself, is tired.”
Wolf Willow Founding Member
The information below gives an overview of the services typically provided in a
cohousing development management contract.
For more information or to request a quote please contact:
Cohousing Development Management Services
Provide all necessary services as the Project Manager including overall coordination
of the development and construction process.
Provide liaison and reporting between the Owner, public agencies, the commercial
lender, and all contractors and professionals hired by the Owner.
Manage all project finances, GST/HST filing and record keeping. Create, monitor and
update project schedules and budgets throughout the life of the project.
Manage all project legal and coordinate filing for all correspondence and company
Provide monthly financial statements, written progress reports with updated project
schedules and updated Development Pro forma as required.
Outreach and Member Education
Work with the Owner to develop and manage an effective outreach program and system
for educating new members.
Work with the Owner to set up an effective system for managing tasks, scheduling
meetings, creating agendas, taking minutes, making decisions, communicating and
Work with the Owner to define the Project and identify path to completion.
Project Budget and Cash Flow
Prepare initial Project Budget and estimated Cash Flow.
Financial Structure for Development Company
Work with the Owner to define the financial structure for the Development
Company. Determine minimum equity investment and return.
Provide recommendations to the Owner regarding selection of the professional team
and negotiate professional contracts.
Corporate Structure for Development Company
Provide model documents and work with the legal professional to set up the Company
that will act as the Owner's development entity for the Project.
Bookkeeping and General Filing
Set up a system for managing, recording, and paying invoices. Set-up and coordinate
a filing system for all company records and correspondences.
Help the Owner define requirements for membership in the community.
Advise and assist in the formation of Committees and defining member roles.
Work with the Owner to develop effective meeting techniques. Assist with preparing
meeting schedules that will support an effective development process. Work with the
members to prepare the agendas for committee, business and special meetings as
Help set up a system for recording decisions. Work with the owner throughout the
development phase to ensure accuracy.
Work with the owner to develop effective decision-making protocols that support the
development and community building process.
Help set up an effective community communication system and protocol.
Web Data Base and Archive
Set up a system for archiving documents and decisions, keeping members informed and
facilitating the education of new members.
Work with the Owner to develop a marketing strategy.
Work with the Owner to prepare promotional material.
Work with the Owner to prepare and manage the outreach plan.
New Member Education
Work with the Owner to manage the membership process.
PROJECT APPROVALS PHASE
Provide ongoing project management to coordinate all activities and communication
between the group, professional team and public agencies.
Manage the rezoning and subdivision process. Work with the planning consultant as
required to obtain all necessary project approvals.
Public Meetings and Presentations
Work with the Owner to prepare for any information meetings and/or any presentations
to the public or regulatory authorities that are required.
Provide information to the Owner and the design team about features that support the
concepts of cohousing
- Coordinate all communication between design professionals and group
- Work with the group to develop an initial program for common house and individual
- Work with the design team to develop a series of workshops to facilitate the
- Help summarize and communicate feedback to design team.
- Provide input on cost implication of design decisions. Provide recommendations
about budget issues during all phases of the design.
- Provide recommendations about unit mix, size, and layout as it relates to cost
- Coordinate communication with regulatory authorities to ensure design meets
- Coordinate all feedback to finalize the design development phase.
Represent the Company to secure a construction loan.
Negotiate the appropriate construction contract on behalf of the Owner.
Standards and Options
Facilitate the process for determining standard finishing and optional upgrades.
Provide recommendations to establish a fair and equitable pricing structure.
PROJECT CONSTRUCTION PHASE
Manage Construction Loan
Manage the construction loan, progress draws, releases and general bookkeeping.
Monitor Construction Contracts
Attend site meetings as required during the construction process. Work with the design
professionals to oversee construction contracts and ensure that work is being carried
out in an appropriate and timely manner. Review and comment on billing requests and
`change orders as required. Coordinate communication between General Contractor and
Keep the Owner informed and up to date on decisions that need to be made during each
phase of the construction process.
ByLaws and Operating Budget
Work with the legal professional and Owner to prepare bylaws and operating budget for
after move-in expenses.
Living in Community Agreements
Provide the Owner with information to prepare living in community agreements and
policies for rental, pets, smoking, use of the common spaces, maintenance and
management, participation, and any other agreements required to support residents to
live harmoniously community.
Prepare documentation and help facilitate unit selection.
Set up a program with a financial institution or mortgage broker to facilitate ease
of getting homeowner financing on closing.
Closing and Occupancy
Manage all communication between the building contractor, purchasers, lawyers,
financial institutions and appraisers as required for timely and effective closing
Attend meetings of the Owner's general membership, committee meetings for development,
legal finance, design, and community building once per month to help coordinate the
work and decision making of the members during the development and construction phase.