What is cohousing?
Put simply, cohousing is a community-focussed way of living. Residents live in their own private homes within a neighbourhood, but share resources and responsibilities to reduce living costs and live more sustainably.
By meeting up regularly for meals and social occasions, we get to know each other and build trust. We are willing to look out for one another, perhaps by checking on someone if they’re ill, watching a friend’s children, or taking in a parcel for someone who’s at work.
Shared facilities such as a common house, laundry room, bike store, guest rooms and a workshop reduce our carbon footprint, and costs are covered together as a community.
Origins of cohousing
Cohousing isn’t a new idea. It began in Denmark in the early 1970’s, and spread from there. Now, around 50,000 people in Denmark (and thousands more across the world) live in cohousing communities.
As people in the UK increasingly decide that community and a more sustainable way of life are important to them, cohousing is gaining popularity here, too. 19 cohousing communities have already been established around the country, and over 60 projects are in development.
What are the benefits?
There are so many positive reasons to live as part of a cohousing community.
It’s a way to:
Build a dependable support network, by increasing social interaction and knowing your neighbours
Boost your health and wellbeing
Live more sustainably and tread more lightly on the planet
Reduce living costs and get more for your money
Share resources and responsibilities
Build, develop and own your own home.
What other people say
Don’t just take our word for it! Lots of other people believe that cohousing is a brilliant way of living.
As well as visiting other cohousing communities, we’ve found talks, articles and websites helpful when considering the reality of joining a shared neighbourhood. Here are some of our favourites.
“It’s great to have people to call on in an emergency. Day-to-day contact means you can forge really deep and meaningful connections in a fairly short time. And it’s a brilliant opportunity for children to grow up in an intergenerational community and be more independent of the nuclear family.”