What is Cohousing?

Cohousing is a unique kind of housing - planned, financed and owned by a group of people who become the residents, neighbours and friends. This housing model is about consciously creating trust and friendship amongst a group of people who choose to live independently yet in a community minded way.
Typical cohousing characteristics…

  • Fully-equipped, privately-owned homes
  • Homes are planned and arranged in a way that fosters community-oriented living with gardens, walk ways and play areas
  • Shared amenities such as a large kitchen & dining room with opportunities for shared meals, a multi-purpose space for activities, and guest suite(s)

Finance & Ownership

  • During the design process, interested homeowners pay membership fees to the Bridgewater Cohousing Society
  • Members secure their own financing to purchase their home and share of common area
  • Cohousing prices reflect quality materials and workmanship - designed for long-term savings
  • Units can be sold at any time at market value
  • Shared facilities are managed by residents’ homeowners association

Cohousing In Other Parts of the World

Cohousing is an international movement - it began in Denmark in the 1960's and has since been replicated successfully hundreds of times all over the world. Many ordinary people in the US and Canada have taken their cohousing developments from idea to reality. They are attracted to this kind of housing for many reasons. Most people are excited about how this type of community encourages interaction among neighbors, and about the social, practical, economic and environmental benefits that come with it.

Cohousing consultants Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett explain the fundamentals of cohousing like this:

  • Complete private units + extensive common facilities
  • Deliberate community-oriented design
  • Participatory process
  • Complete resident management
  • Non-hierarchical structure
  • Separate income sources

Other cohousing communities in Canada

 

Belterra Cohousing Bowen Island, BC
Cohabitat Québec Quebec
Cranberry Commons Cohousing Burnaby, BC
Creekside Commons Courtenay, BC
Dragonfly Cohousing Calgary, AB
Fernwood Urban Village Victoria, BC
GreenSong near Toronto, ON
Lorax Woodlands near Wolfville, NS
Pacific Gardens Nanaimo, BC
Prairie Sky Cohousing Cooperative Calgary, AB
Quayside Village North Vancouver, BC
Roberts Creek Cohousing Roberts Creek, BC
WindSong Langley, BC
Wolf Willow Cohousing Saskatoon, SK
Yarrow EcoVillage Yarrow, BC

 

Websites on other cohousing communities & resources

Suggested books on cohousing and sustainable housing

 

Creating a Life Together - Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities Diana Leafe Christian
Creating Cohousing - Building Sustainable Communities Kathryn McCamant & Charles Durrett
Finding Community Diana Leafe Christian
Local Sustainable Homes - How to Make them Happen in Your Community Chris Bird
Reinventing Community - Stories from the Walkways of Cohousing David Wann
The Cohousing Handbook - Building a Place for Community Chris Hanson
The Natural House - A Complete Guide to Healthy, Energy-Efficient, Environmental Homes Daniel D. Chiras
The Senior Cohousing Handbook - a Community Approach to Independent Living Kathryn McCamant & Charles Durrett
The Transition Handbook - From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience Rob Hopkins

 

Cohousing in the media

 

Building Community with Cohousing Video produced by the Canadian Cohousing Network
"Would You Live Here?" Aired on CBC's The National. Click on the video links to the right, and more information below
Documentary on Cranberry Commons Video on YouTube, from the show above (CBC)
Designing a Great Community: Behind the Scenes at Holiday Video about the community design process of Wild Sage Cohousing in Boulder, CO
Trailer Documentary Cohousing / Cohabitat Quirky YouTube video

 

Other interesting links that relate to our vision

 

Alex Steffen: The shareable future of cities TED talk about how cities and urban areas can becomes centres of sustainability by focusing on being walkable, using energy efficiently, and promoting sharing of common resources