What Is Cohousing?

Cohousing is a form of cooperative living that combines private residences with extensive common facilities. Cohousing recreates the sense of togetherness, physical security, and community found in an old-style neighborhood while providing the privacy and stability of individual home ownership.

Common characteristics of cohousing communities include:
• Residents participate in the planning and design of the community to ensure that it reflects their needs.
• The physical design creates a cohesive neighborhood and promotes individual interaction.
• Extensive common facilities designed to supplement the private living areas on a daily basis.
• Residents take responsibility for the ongoing management, cooperating to address their changing needs.

Landscaping DayCohousing architecture promotes interaction between individuals, breaking down the isolation typical of suburban developments while maintaining the privacy valued by most Americans. Individually owned homes cluster around common facilities, with automobiles relegated to the periphery.

Cohousing residents cooperate to manage the community and take turns cooking common meals. Residents enjoy shared facilities and opportunities to participate in community activities and options that typical housing doesn't provide. While each home has its own private kitchen, residents enjoy conversing with neighbors and to eating home-cooked meals without having to prepare every meal and clean up afterward.

Cohousing provide many benefits, including richer and more diverse social interactions, reduced living expenses through sharing resources, greater security for adults and children alike, more leisure time, and lower stress on the family unit.

For further information on cohousing, see our cohousing resources page.