Cohousing Movement

Senior cohousing grows out of the broader cohousing movement. The Danes invented these “living communities” in the 1960s. There are hundreds in Denmark and across northern Europe. These are places that encourage cooperation with one’s neighbours, where common facilities are creatively shared yet where each household its their home and members control how involved they want to be with the community

Cohousing combines the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of shared common spaces and amenities.

Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett brought cohousing to the US with the 1988 publication of their book  “Cohousing: a Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves.”

The Cohousing book offered solutions to North Americans adapted from the Danish experience. The third edition, “Creating Cohousing,” came out in 2011.  McCamant and Durrett  have developed many of the approximately 120 cohousing communities in the US.  (There are 10 in Canada, mostly in BC, with about 8 more in development).

Cohousing creates neighbourhoods based on:

•      Participatory process

•       Privately-owned homes

•       Extensive common facilities

•       Design that facilitates community & ensures privacy

•       Resident management with consensus  orientation

•       Sustainability – environmental, social, economic, & cultural

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