Co-housing arrangements offer independent living in a loose community setting.
Each individual has their own front door and independent living space. There are also shared spaces and residents may choose to eat together and share facilities such as laundry, garden equipment, children's play areas, internet access and guest rooms. The design and structure of the choosing enterprise aims to facilitate social connection and encourages a sense of community to develop. This brings social, practical, economic and environmental benefits.
Cohousing projects are designed and run by their residents at every stage from inception, through building, to maintenance in a way which is inclusive and participatory. Most co housing projects exist in urban settings and residents are engaged members of the wider community in which they live. The co housing model was developed in Denmark in the 1960s and is now very popular in Denmark and in the Netherlands. There are a number of schemes already built and lived in the UK and a good number of groups at the planning stage too. It is especially appropriate for older people who want the sharing and support that comes with living with others, but maintaining independent space too.