Co-housing isn’t a new concept. Remeber back in the 60s when people lived in communes? In Israel, kibbutz are still a popular way to live. Community living used to be considered new-agey, cultish and for hippies. However, I think those early adapters were quite futuristic and forward-thinking. And, I actually believe there will be a very strong movement towards co-housing in the coming years. With a number of generations today feeling the squeeze and pinch of housing prices, combined with a desire for greater community – it makes sense that people would find an innovative way to come together and live in a way that makes more sense.
I came across this video on my twitter feed. It highlights a community being developed on Bowen Island called Belterra Cohousing. I first watched it alone and then I viewed it with my 6 year old daughter. At the end, I asked her what she thought. She had a huge smile on her face and said she thought it was “really, really cool.” When I asked her why she simply said, “less work…more play.” Honestly, I thought the same thing. Sounds pretty utopic, if you ask me.
The Belterra website states:
Cohousing communities are designed and developed by the people who will be living in them. They are by nature compact, energy efficient and socially cohesive. And the residents are cooperative, community oriented, respectful of nature and concerned with their own impact on the local and global communities. We manage ourselves and make decisions together for the good of the larger group. As future neighbours, we will respect our own and each other’s needs for autonomy as well as our desires for social interaction and interdependence.
Really, it just seems like people living the way we are meant to…together…in a community. People, after all, need people.
What are your thoughts on co-housing and multi-generational living? Do you live in a co-op or somewhere similar? I’d love to know what your experience has been like.by