What’s behind the Tomo name of a new Vancouver cohousing project

By Carlito Pablo

On February 1, the public will get a chance to learn more about a new cohousing project in Vancouver. It’s called the Tomo House, and it’s proposed to be developed at the southwest corner of Main Street and Ontario Place.

Tomo stands for ‘together more’, and according to the developer working with a group of future residents, the concept behind the project is really simple.

“The idea is that we are more when we are together,” Leslie Shieh told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.

Shieh is with Tomo Spaces Inc., owner and developer of the property at 5809-5811 Main Street, where a 3.5-storey cohousing building is proposed to be built.

Tomo Spaces Inc. is working with Our Urban Village, whose members will be the future owners of the housing units.

Cohousing is a housing model that started in Denmark, in which future neighbours plan and manage a multi-family development that they will share.

Under this model, residents own their respective units, and share common facilities.

James Chamberlain is a member of the Our Urban Village cohousing group, and he noted that the project is a variation of the traditional cohousing model.

In conventional cohousing projects, future neighbours purchase the land and manage the development of the residential building, taking all the risks.

With Tomo House, it’s a ‘cohousing lite’ approach, wherein the cohousing group enters into a partnership with a developer that owns the land and will be in charge of the development. The residents will purchase their homes.

Read the full article at the Georgia Straight