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Residents eager to move into Iowa's first co-housing community

Inspired by the first co-housing communities in Denmark, countries all over the world have adopted some form of shared community neighborhoods. There are 200 co-housing communities across the United States.

Iowa City resident Craig Mosher will soon be one of the first to take advantage of something new in an Iowa housing development.

It is called a co-housing community.

"This place is designed to bring people together," he said.

Prairie Hills Co-Housing is the first co-housing community in the state of Iowa.

Inspired by the first co-housing communities in Denmark, countries all over the world have adopted some form of shared community neighborhoods. There are 200 co-housing communities across the United States.

Residents in Iowa City's co-housing community will live in their own units but can interact with residents in the community house, which will have amenities all residents will share: a future dinning hall, kitchen, and laundry facility.

Later construction projects will implement a community garden, day care center, and play area for families with children.

The overall message: make residents interact, share ideas, and live closer together than ever before.

"We recognize that [is] a much better way to live than everybody just isolated by themselves, kind of on a little green island," said Del Holland, Lead Manager for Iowa City's Co-Housing Community.

"There's a real opportunity for privacy and a social life, and that appeals to a lot of people," said Mosher.

Even pathways to each housing complex make it easier for residents to connect.

"I'm sort of a quiet person myself and really like the idea of having privacy,but also being able to go down to the common house, have coffee with friends and eat there sometimes," said Mosher.

Marcia Shaffer, who will also be moving in by the end of the month, is looking forward to gaining new neighbors of all ages.

"I think there are a lot of advantages to having children here, because there's lots of babysitters," she said.

The community also focuses on sustainability with eco-friendly flooring and other amenities within each LEED green certified home.

"This is a thing I think we all need to think about is how we're living on the Earth and whether we can have a smaller carbon footprint," said Shaffer.

"At the same time we're living the way we want to live," said Mosher.

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