Cohousing is independent and interdependent living in a practical, economical and enjoyable manner that aligns with the values and ethics of a particular group and their intentions. Groups in Europe, the USA, and Canada have formed around faith communities, friends, eco-friendly living, a social movement, or just getting to know each other through the process. Cohousing allows each household private space and autonomy, while living in condominium style housing with a vital community life.
WHAT IS COHOUSING?
WHAT WOULD THE BUILDING(S) LOOK LIKE?
Planned from the start to be accessible, this low rise urban development would be organized around common indoor and outdoor spaces, to maximize natural daily interactions but also allow privacy in each dwelling unit. Every home would have it's own kitchen, bathroom, living, dining and bedroom(s). Common facilities would include a community kitchen, large dining room with a bathroom, guest bedroom, care-giver's suite, a garden, and perhaps a multi-purpose room for activities. With this model, You can have as much privacy as you want but the idea is to enjoy a better quality of life through cooperation.
Getting older can be expensive, whether it be hired help, home remodels, or assisted-care living. Family arrangements have changed and many seniors don’t want to depend on their children for care, or they have no children. For these reasons and more, many older adults are turning to the mutual support of cohousing, and looking for opportunities to share care providers in a built environment that allows “aging in place”.
“Most housing options available for seniors today isolate them and discourage neighborhood atmosphere. There is an alternative. If you are interested in: living in a large, social community in your own house; participating in the planning of your home; experiencing an alternative to institutionalized health care.” ~ Charles Durrett, "The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living"
Rather than warehousing older adults and seniors “out of site and out of mind”, cohousing residents would contribute their wisdom and skills to the community, as part-time workers or volunteers within on-site or adjacent facilities hosting a variety of services. See some cohousing model examples.