Characteristics of Co-housing

Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves is the seminal work by Kathryn M. Mccamant and Charles Durrett credited with introducing the cohousing concept to North America.

They prescribe Six Characteristics of Co-housing (described here on the website of LiveWell Cohousing, in Vancouver), all of which they say should be present. The characteristics are:

  1. Participatory process
  2. Neighbourhood design
  3. Common facilities
  4. Resident Management
  5. Non-hierarchical structure and decision-making
  6. No shared community economy (the community is not a source of income for members).

Our interest in co-housing is a shared home, rather than multiple homes in a shared neighbourhood, so we do not subscribe to number 2 — otherwise, these seem like sound characteristics.


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