Birchwood Co-housing

Intentional. Innovative. Intergenerational.

What is Cohousing?

Cohousing is people coming together with the intention of being good neighbours. It involves a combination of smaller, self-contained, privately-owned houses with a shared Common House and other facilities designed to create the atmosphere of an old-fashioned village.

A unique aspect of cohousing is that the citizen-developers participate in a conscious process of creating a community that will reflect their values. The 1997 Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) study entitled “Planning Cohousing” reported:

“While the shared amenities are integral to cohousing, some believe privacy is more respected in cohousing communities than elsewhere. The idea of a shared kitchen and dining facilities does not stem from a notion that meals should be communal, but a recognition that sometimes communal meals are desirable and benefit everyone.”

Privacy is not sacrificed as houses are self-contained and residents can chose themselves when and how often to participate in community activities. In this way Cohousing tries to strike a balance that honours privacy and autonomy, but also encourages relationship-building and mutual support.

Eight common elements of cohousing are:

You can learn more about cohousing through the following resources:

Books:

Websites:

Videos:

Audio:

June 20, 2016: Birchwood Receives High Marks for Sustainability from the Village of Telkwa