Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cohousing, an idea to think about

I've recently been talking to people about the concept of cohousing...a quite fascinating idea of designing a housing complex that combines private ownership of homes (or townhouses) with shared group facilities like a big common house with a large kitchen/dining area, guest rooms, a workshop, or a craft area. The idea is to create an "intentional" community that encourages a neighbourhood feeling and interaction with the people who live around you. It's appealing in our age when so many people feel so isolated and many of our traditional support systems are weak. Yet, will it work in our very individualistic culture? Can we create a community with good planning?
When I talked to Margaret Critchlow of Sooke, BC about the idea, her enthusiasm for the concept was contagious. Margaret is spearheading a project in Sooke to build a senior cohousing complex there, designed for the 50 and up crowd. It's an alternative housing idea that has a lot of merit, even though it's not for everyone.
I've done a column for CBC on this (my columns are aired on CBC Radio One 90.5 FM on Jo-Ann Roberts' show All Points West on Thursdays at 4:35 p.m.) and if you are interested in learning more, here are some helpful websites:
Canadian Senior Cohousing (the Sooke group), and
Canadian Cohousing Network: You can also hear my recent columns by going to: CBC Radio One's All Points West
and scroll down to the NYNO, Not Young Not Old column.
Would love to hear what you think of cohousing. Most of the developments now completed are intergenerational, and family focused.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really intrigued by the idea of cohousing and we seriously considered it when looking to buy our condo. I'd love more of a sense of community in our apartment building but we don't even have a common room!

    ps great job adding links to your post!