Can I afford to live in and be involved in developing a cohouse community? 

Building costs for both the total of your private residence and the co-owning of the shared amenities and spaces are comparable to what you would pay for a similar but slightly larger new unit in Ottawa.


What you lose in the size of your own personal footprint, you gain in generous common spaces and community living. The real savings are realized after move-in with an increase in disposable income of $200-1000 per month due to sharing of common resources (e.g. easy access to car sharing, care providers, landscaping costs, etc.). 

Just as you would study and prepare your personal finances in the process of buying a new home, you will need to prepare and study your available financing to buy into the cohouse development.  

two people doing calculations

Will there be rental units made available?

While the majority of the residents will own their own residence and co-own the total cohouse property, there may be opportunities for rental units as well.  In the case of renting, tenants will need to be able to commit long term to the cohouse. This may involve longer than average leases of 2 to 5 years, responsibility for the regular maintenance of their rented unit and a share in responsibility of the day-to-day maintenance and improvements of the shared common spaces and items.

In a cohouse where most units are owner-occupied, including one or more rental units allows for some advantages over time.  Rental units can provide flexibility for families as spatial needs change.  Rental units can house caretakers, elderly parents, or adult children.

When do I need to have the BIG money ready?

Once the Affinity Group approves the drawings, at the completion of the Design Development Phase, the units will be available for presale to group members.  Members will need to place a down payment towards the final price, or, in the case of future tenants will be signing a lease agreement to reserve their rental unit.  It will then take a couple of more years for the project to be fully constructed and ready for move-in. 

The initial start-up costs to be paid to Ottawa Cohousing are outlined in NEXT STEPS