our urban village cohousing 

a home of your own, neighbours you know

your questions answered

What is co-housing?

From the Canadian Cohousing Network:


"Cohousing describes the process by which a group of people work together to create and maintain their own neighbourhood.  By participating in the planning and design of their housing development, residents form the bonds which are the basis of ongoing community. Cohousing emphasizes a supportive, inter-generational community, common facilities and participation by all members using a consensus process to make decisions . . .  the homes are always self-contained, have access to shared facilities and the overall intention is to create opportunities for interaction among neighbours."


How are urban co-housing communities different from rural and suburban communities?

Most cohousing communities are built in suburban or rural sites because land costs are lower and there is more space for common amenities.  For people who love urban living, creating cohousing is more challenging and requires new approaches.  OUV plans to prioritize the amenities we really need, purchase multi-use furniture and encourage car sharing to reduce costs.  We think we can create functionality in a smaller footprint to reflect urban realities.


What kind of people join co-housing?

From the Canadian Cohousing Network:


"They tend to be people who have thought about this idea of creating community long before they heard the term cohousing.. . . People who choose to be a part of a cohousing community come from a variety of backgrounds, income levels, family types and beliefs. What they do have in common is a desire to have a say in how their neighbourhood will be and a belief that having more connection with their neighbours will be good for them."


How do I balance neighbourliness and privacy?

All of us have different needs for together time and alone time that a co-housing community respects. Because you have your own unit, you can withdraw to recharge and then become more active as energy and time permits.  However, to feel connected to your neighbours and to be part of your community, you'll likely want to participate in common activities when you can.


What if I want to sell my place?

You own your strata condo and can sell it anytime you want to whoever you want.   For many co-housing communities, there is a wait list of people who wish to buy because they are interested in the co-housing experience.  Usually, potential buyers want to meet with the community and participate in some meals to get a sense of whether co-housing works for them.  And, usually, co-housers want to sell to people who are like-minded and interested in joining the community.


Will my place retain its value?

No one has a crystal ball, so, of course we can't say for sure.  But some research from the States shows that, once built, the resale price of a cohousing unit is usually more than a traditional home.


From Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities (New Society Press, 2011):

“A report completed in January 2010 by the appraisal firm of Bartholomew Associates concluded that resales in cohousing communities in Northern California sold at 1.7 to 3.12 times the prices of other townhouses and condominiums in the area. When prices were adjusted for specific differences in age, condition and location, cohousing homes sold at 11 to 63 percent premiums compared to the closest comparables. This data was collected through 2009 and thus includes the years of the great recession.”  


What about costs?

From the Canadian Cohousing Network:


"To date cohousing is rarely subsidized. Participants are generally those who can afford to buy their own home and the cost is approximately market rate.  There are exceptions however, and new models for financing and developing cohousing are constantly being explored in the attempt to create more affordability.