Funny how things cluster. The day after our co-housing article appeared, the Globe and Mail also published a column by Todd Hirsch, a Calgary-based economist. Mr. Hirsch’s column is all about the challenges of low growth, nothing at all to do with co-housing — or so you’d think.
But just at the end, as he’s talking about the issue of low yields, which has a negative impact particularly on pensioners and seniors, he recommends:
rethinking the way seniors live in closer communities, supported not by money but by the people around them. Seniors living with low incomes can suffer more from isolation than lack of money. Rather than single-unit low-income housing, we need to re-examine multi-family, communal living arrangements, maybe using tax credits as incentives for builders.
As we’ve said elsewhere, the economics of co-housing are not the primary drivers for us. But it’s good to see those particular stars aligning. Generally, once there’s an economic rationale, the policy pieces start to fall into line.