B35 - Cohousing
Cohousing is a type of community living in which private homes are organised around shared spaces such as a common house, vegetable patch, garden and/or play area.
The aim is to promote social interaction and environmental sustainability.
Residents participate in the design, management and operation of the community, and all (adult) members are involved in the decision-making process.
Cohousing differs from co-operatives and communes in that residents maintain their financial autonomy and each household has an independent, fully equipped home.
There are different cohousing options available, including: mixed unit titles, rent to buy, secure rent, leasehold arrangements and home-ownership.
- Cohousing communities provide supportive, secure neighbourhoods that foster social interaction with those who share many of the same values.
- In most communities, residents are able to choose their level of participation and sociability.
- The communities are run collaboratively by the residents. Most groups make decisions by consensus, and no one person has authority over any other.
- There are many opportunities to share material and immaterial resources, and day-to-day living is cheaper as resources are shared between households.
- There are very few cohousing initiatives available.
- Living closely with others and participating in shared decision-making may be difficult for some people.
- Households have less autonomy around decisions to do with such things as making structural alterations to their homes, owning pets, etc.
- Individual houses may be smaller than usual due to the provision of shared facilities.
- It can be expensive to buy into some cohousing communities.
- Some communities charge levies and village property expenses as well as individual household rates.
- Principles of sustainability can be stringent in some communities, and they may include limits on the use of power, water and cars.
What do I need in order to take this option?
- You need to share the values of the cohousing community you are interested in joining.
- You need to be in good health and have the willingness and skills to participate in the maintenance and running of a community.
- You need enough money to purchase a dwelling within the community.
- There must be a suitable community where you want to live. To find out if a cohousing community is operating in your area, contact Cohousing New Zealand at:
- The community needs to have accommodation available when you want it.
Could this option limit my future choices?
Investing in cohousing can be costly and could possibly limit your options should you wish to leave the community.
For more information