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What makes cohousing unique?

Owning a home in a cohousing community is similar to owning a condominium, but here are some of the elements that make it different.

A sense of belonging

First and foremost, cohousing is about community—it’s about cultivating a closeknit neighborhood right outside your front door.

Shared outdoor spaces

Cohousing developments are carefully designed to foster connections among neighbors. Private dwellings are clustered along sociable, pedestrian-only spaces that lead to community gardens and green spaces only a short walk away.

A common house

At the heart of every cohousing community is the “common house” with a large community kitchen and dining area where people can meet periodically to cook and enjoy meals together. Often the common house holds other shared facilities as well—a playroom, exercise room, workshop area, guest room, laundry room, and so on.

Smaller footprint/greener living

Individual living units tend to be smaller than usual, but they often are planned to be as adaptable as possible. They’re built in accordance with environmentally sound principles, using energy efficient materials and techniques that will pay off down the road.

Shared equipment/shared skills

Not everyone needs to own a chain saw, or a badminton set, or a 5-person tent. In many cohousing communities, items like these are shared centrally—and there's often someone nearby who can show you how to use them!

Dream and design together

Working in tandem with an architect and other professionals, group members take an active role in planning the design and structure of the community.

Shared responsibilities and decision-making

Responsibilities are shared and decisions are made collectively, usually by consensus. Leadership roles often rotate. As people join the group, each person takes on one or more roles consistent with his or her skills, abilities or interests.