Your Questions, Answered
What is cohousing?
Cohousing is an community centered around social connections where residents actively participate in the design and operation of their housing. Unlike traditional housing options cohousers know all their neighbours before they move in.
Is cohousing the same as co-op housing?
No. Residents own their individual strata lots. Urban cohousing consists of private, fully-equipped condos and extensive shared space including a common house and recreation areas.
Is cohousing the same as social housing?
No. Cohousing is not subsidized by the government. Residents purchase their own unit and share in a common space for meals and activities. Our units sell at market rates.
How do urban co-housing communities differ from rural and suburban communities?
Most cohousing is suburban or rural because land costs are lower. For people who love urban living, cohousing is more challenging and requires new approaches. OUV responded by prioritizing the amenities we really need and encouraging car sharing to reduce costs. We think we can create functionality in a smaller footprint to reflect urban realities.
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, you’ll want to participate in common activities when you can.
What if I want to sell my place?
You own your condo and can sell anytime to whoever you want. Many co-housing communities, have a wait list of potential buyers. Usually, buyers want to meet with the community and participate in some meals to see whether co-housing works for them. And, usually, co-housers want to sell to people who are like-minded and will fit into the community.
Books and Noteworthy websites
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, by Charles Montgomery. An inspiring view on what it takes to make neighbourhoods friendly by a Vancouver journalist.
The Abundant Community by Peter Block and John McKnight. This book delves into How to build a healthy community with staying power.
The nuts and bolts of building a cohousing project can be found in the following books:
Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities by Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett and The Cohousing Handbook: Building a Place for Community by Chris Hanson.