New Iowa City Neighborhood Being Built With Feeling of Community in Mind

IOWA CITY, Iowa  --  Iowa City will soon be home to a neighborhood that's the first of its kind in the state.

Residents are preparing to move into a new co-housing development, which, as KWWL's Jalyn Souchek reports, is like a condominium but with a larger focus on community.

"In this place, my neighbors are my friends. They're people who I depend on, and who depend on me."

Craig Mosher and Donna Rupp are the first set of neighbors that will soon be moving in at Prairie Hill, a co-housing complex where a series of homes are built around a communal space.

"It's an intentional community. We're here because we want to live with other people. We'll also have the privacy of our own units, our own houses, but we'll also be able to be with everybody when we want to," said Mosher.

With the idea of sharing comes a community garden and orchards.

"We can garden together. We'll have a woodshop where we can build things together."

More buildings are still in the works, and will be built right next to each other. They may seem close together, but this plan is intentional.

"We could have spread them out more, but the idea is let's have people closer together," said Rupp.

The common house, as they call it, provides a place to gather.

"We'll share meals together several nights a week."

It's also where friends or family visiting will stay.

"Houses have gotten so large because everybody has extra bedrooms for occasional guests. If we can put those bedrooms in the common house, then I can have one bedroom unit and be perfectly happy," said Mosher.

The idea comes from a model started in Denmark and has been eight years in the making.