Denmark is credited with the creation of the modern cohousing movement in the 1960s. Since then it’s grown in fits and starts.
In England, the Housing Learning and Improvement Network offers a ‘knowledge hub’ for professionals involved in the intersection of housing with care for older people. The organization (sorry: organisation) has produced a number of studies, the most recent of which is called Growing Older Together: An Overview of Collaborative Forms of Housing for Older People. It notes:
…collaborative housing for older people can take many and varied forms and, as we have seen, new approaches and models are emerging all the time. When taken together these forms of housing have considerable scope and they have the potential to be developed on a much larger scale. Secondly, all forms of collaborative housing have a shared and distinctive quality. Collaborative housing is essentially about older people being able to have continuing influence and control over their housing and how they live – as their circumstances inevitably change even as they become more frail and vulnerable. It is about ‘growing older together’.
In Barcelona, a city I love even though my wallet was stolen during my only visit, Beco Housing has launched what it calls a “platform or meeting point for people interested in collaborative housing and a suitable professional team to make it happen.”