What is Cohousing?

Cohousing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Each attached or single family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically feature a common house, which may include a large kitchen and dining area, laundry, and recreational spaces. Shared outdoor space may include parking, walkways, open space, and gardens. Neighbors also share resources like tools and lawnmowers.


Households have independent incomes and private lives, but neighbors collaboratively plan and manage community activities and shared spaces. The legal structure is typically an HOA, Condo Association, or Housing Cooperative. Community activities feature regularly-scheduled shared meals, meetings, and workdays. Neighbors gather for parties, games, movies, or other events. Cohousing makes it easy to form clubs, organize child and elder care, and carpool.

Characteristics of Cohousing

Cohousing communities are usually structured - in principle and often in architecture - to encourage frequent interactions and the formation of close relationships between their members. Neighbors are encouraged to cooperate within the community and to care for their neighbors. Cohousing developments are usually intentionally limited to around 20-40 homes and frequently feature large common areas for residents to interact in. While cohousing developments are designed to encourage community, residents still have as much personal privacy as they want. 

"How Cohousing Can Make Us Happier "

Grace Kim - TED Talk

"What is a Home"

Produced for the Belterra Cohousing Community of Bowen Island