What is Cohousing?
Cohousing describes neighbourhoods that combine the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of shared resources and community living.
Residents own their individual homes (the legal structure is strata ownership), which are clustered around a common house with shared amenities. (large kitchen (of course individual units also have their own kitchen), dining room, children's playroom, workshops, craft areas, music room, photography studio, lounge areas, roof-top patio and garden, etc.)
The Best of Both Worlds
Some people call cohousing neighbourhoods a return to the best of small-town communities. Others say they are like a traditional village or the close-knit neighbourhood where they grew up, while futurists call them an altogether new response to social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Each holds a piece of the truth.
Cohousing residents participate in the planning, design, ongoing management and maintenance of their community, meeting frequently to address each of these processes. Cohousing neighbourhoods strive to combine environmentally sensitive design with a pedestrian orientation.
Cohousing is a concept that emerged in Denmark in type 1960s. It denotes neighbourhoods that combine the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of shared resources and community living.
The first cohousing community in Canada was Windsong Cohousing Community, built in Langley over twenty years ago. It remains a thriving community. Since that time, over a dozen successful cohousing communities have be established in British Columbia and several others are in the planning and building stages.
This is a great video from the folks at Belterra Cohousing, explaining the benefits of a cohousing community.