What is Co-housing?

Co-housing is a collaborative housing arrangement that is intentionally planned and designed to provide a strong sense of community and a way of living that enables personal choice around both social interaction and privacy.

Co-housing communities are self-managed, empowering residents to have a real voice in the direction of the community. Co-housing is participatory, consensus-building, and inclusive.

Co-housing history

Co-housing began in Denmark in the 1960s and in the U.S. in the 1980s. Today there are hundreds of co-housing communities in many different countries, with more than 90 in the U.S.

Co-housing is a form of collaborative housing that offers residents an old-fashioned sense of neighborhood. In co-housing, residents know their neighbors well and there’s a strong sense of community that’s absent in contemporary cities and suburbs. Co-housing is a way of living that encourages social interaction while supporting the need for privacy. Co-housing communities consist of private, fully-equipped dwellings and extensive common amenities including a common house and recreation areas. Residents are involved in the development and management of the community so that the neighborhood reflects their priorities.

Balancing community and personal privacy, co-housing residents own their own homes but have common areas where they can share meals and socialize. This way of living alleviates some of the stress of modern life and encourages an atmosphere of cooperation.

There are many opportunities to connect with neighbors on common ground. The common space is a central fixture in the community where relaxed, casual interaction with neighbors can take place. Co-housing is a place where it’s very easy to connect with neighbors and easy to maintain those connections.

This tight-knit community is ideal for families with children. Neighbors can take turns watching children and parents have lots of support. There’s back-up last-minute childcare and caring neighbors who you know well and who care about your children. The safety and pleasure of raising children in Co-housing is unequaled in almost any other setting. Parking is on the periphery to allow a pedestrian village in the center of the community. Children have safe places to play, both indoors and out.

Optional community meals provide an opportunity for socializing and save lots of work. Imagine coming home from work several times a week to a cooked dinner and no cleanup. By sharing the responsibilities, each resident’s workload is reduced.