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Is Cohousing right for you?

Cohousing is a planned residential community (or neighbourhood) that combines private homes with shared indoor and outdoor spaces that are designed to support an active, interdependent community life. Cohousing has a long history in Denmark and is becoming an established community model in the United States and western Canada.

These questions will help you think about whether or not Cohousing is right for you.

Would I enjoy living in a Cohousing community?

Cohousing communities typically have 15 to 35 households and may be inter-generational or focused on older adults or seniors. Some involve a group of people with common goals (e.g. environmental sustainability). Residents enjoy communal areas for cooking, eating and socializing as a group, while having their own self-contained living quarters with the usual amenities, including kitchens. Adult residents sit on a governing board and share the work of managing the community, buildings, and common grounds or spaces through committees.
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5. What type of setting would you prefer to live in? (Select all that apply)
Cohousing is probably not for you if you…

       …Prefer to live very privately, with little interaction with your neighbours
       …Have fixed ideas about how things should be done
       …Require medical or personal care in your daily living arrangements

Can I afford to live in a Cohousing community?

Cohousing communities are typically developed by a core group of people who have an intention to live together in a co-owned setting and community.  Completed homes in the community are purchased by individual households, with shared ownership and management of the property and common areas, similar to a condominium.

Some Cohousing projects are designed and built from the ground up. Others involve retrofitting an existing structure that is suitable for Cohousing. Either way, homes are likely to be priced at local market value. The cost of a Cohousing project is typically the same as any new development except you may find you need less space as the common spaces are so large. Once you move in, you’ll find that the monthly cost of living in cohousing is much lower as many of the common services can be shared.

There are established financial models for developing cohousing. A group of equity members typically makes early investments to launch the project, attract additional members, locate a site, and prepare for construction. Those who get involved early have the opportunity to participate in designing the common spaces and homes with the help of an architect and other professionals. Community members are expected to contribute funds at various stages before construction is complete. These funds serve as a down payment on a home.

At this time, there is little opportunity in Canada to source funding that would subsidize ownership of a home in a cohousing community. In some Cohousing communities, however, owners may choose to make their units available for rent.

Cohousing ownership is probably not for you if you…

       …Do not have the financial resources to purchase a modest home/ condo  
       …Plan to use most of the equity in your current home for daily life in retirement

Where can I learn more about cohousing?

Did you answer “yes” or “maybe” to most of the questions? There are a number of groups in the early stages of forming a group to develop a Cohousing community. We would love to talk with you about your interest in cohousing, whether you are ready to join a group or just curious about the concept. We invite you to visit us at and contact us at for more information about existing groups, upcoming public information sessions and useful resources. Thanks for your interest!  

*Developed by Cohousing Options Canada. All rights reserved.