CoLiving is an umbrella term for different types of intentional communities where residents have varying levels of private space while sharing a significant amount of common amenities and living facilities. On one end of the spectrum where private space is at the minimum, you may just have a bunk bed in a dormitory. An increasingly common scenario is having a private suite in a shared house like in the Golden Girls or like many college and university students have experienced. Other forms of CoLiving have increased privacy and autonomy while still including shared commons such as Cohousing, eco-villages, cooperative houses and other shared living arrangements.
CoLiving may also encompass shared accommodation initiated by an external agent, such as a developer or entrepreneur.
--> Continue below the photo to learn more about Cohousing, a form of CoLiving.
Cohousing neighbourhoods are intentional communities of individual homes or apartments clustered around a “common house” with shared amenities designed to provide residents privacy, while maximizing their access to a high functioning community.Each home is self-sufficient with a complete kitchen and the other aspects you would expect in a home. Common shared amenities may include a large kitchen and dining room in the common house for weekly community meals, a children’s playroom, workshops, guest rooms, caregiver suites, home office support, arts and crafts area, exercise facilities, laundry and more.
Cohousing residents typically own their homes though rental and leasing approaches do exist. No matter the ownership structure residents participate in the planning, design, ongoing management and maintenance of their community, meeting regularly to address each of these processes. Cohousing neighbourhoods range from 8-40 households and most commonly emphasize a multi-generational mix of singles, couples, families with children, and elders though senior (50+) Cohousing communities are rapidly increasing in number.
Cohousing provides personal privacy combined with the benefits of living in a community where people know and interact with their neighbours. In North America approximately 160 Cohousing communities have been completed since 1991 and there are currently more than 100 new communities in various stages of development. In Denmark where Cohousing originated, 8% - 12% of the population now live in Cohousing communities and it is not uncommon to find clusters of neighbourhoods (15 - 35 homes seems to be the ideal) with commonly owned and shared “town squares,” buildings and facilities in addition to the neighbourhood common spaces and amenities.