On Monday I was interviewed by Emily Jackson and today photographed by Jennifer Gauthier for a feature on Vancouver Cohousing in the Vancouver Metro newspaper. Here’s the excellent story. There’s also one just published in the Vancouver Courier.
I can see the Vancouver Cohousing website will get a lot of hits from these stories and it still has us under construction; so, I’ll work on updating it before calling it a night.
‘It feels like family’: Residents move into Vancouver’s first cohousing development
Cohousing – private units arranged around common areas – has officially come to Vancouver. Metro checks in with residents of the city’s first cohousing community.
Neighbours say they’re starting to feel like family just two weeks after moving into Vancouver’s first cohousing community – a type of housing where people own private units and share large common areas such as a community kitchen and playroom.
Residents officially moved into the 31-unit cohousing development on East 33 Avenue between Victoria and Knight at the end of February, nearly three years after the city approved the housing complex as an innovative way to make housing more affordable amidst the city’s real estate madness.
But the housing concept, which originated in Denmark and operates as close as Burnaby and North Vancouver, is about much more than affordability, according to residents who spoke to Metro about how the 48 adults and 18 children are adapting to their hyper-sharing lifestyle.
“It feels like friends. At times it feels like family.”
Cohousing attracts likeminded people willing to share considerable resources, prepare group meals five times a week and make all their decisions by consensus, Mallin explained.
These neighbours already share vacuums, borrow cutlery and drive each other’s children to school, Mallin said. They’ve even managed to make all their decisions together by 100% consensus “without going crazy or meeting endlessly,” he added.
The residents own their own strata units with fully equipped kitchens (they can sell anytime, and there’s a waitlist to buy).
They see themselves as groundbreakers for the housing type and hope they inspire other cohousing communities. (Two more are underway: Little Mountain Cohousing and Our Urban Village Cohousing.) Mallin recommends they hire local architects who know how to wade through the city’s planning department.