What is cohousing?
Cohousing (“collaborative housing”) is a housing model that includes individually owned homes built alongside shared space. The intent is to combine the privacy and comfort of having your own home, with the community and social benefits of having close knit neighbours and shared amenities.
Cohousing projects are also planned, developed, and managed by the homeowners. For example, Radiance Cohousing was led by a diverse group of people who pooled their resources, formed a development company, and worked together to manage the design and construction of their own homes.
The number of cohousing projects in Canada is growing. Not only is it a repeatable development model, but it accommodates various household structures and provides community to those who are seeking it. It appeals to a diversity of people and fills a gap in the current housing market.
Why do we want to live this way?
Radiance Cohousing grew from a relatively simple idea: to create quality homes that build community and respond to a changing climate. We appreciate that cohousing allows us to be part of a well-knit neighbourhood, while also providing us with the privacy of our own homes.
We also prioritized building our homes to the Passive House standard. Passive House buildings are quiet, meet high air quality standards, and maintain comfortable temperatures and humidity levels. They also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as provide a lower cost of living because monthly utility payments are so low.
Overall, Radiance Cohousing offers us more than what we would get through the other housing options currently available in Saskatoon.
Cohousing is becoming a more common style of living.
Cohousing emerged in Denmark over 25 years ago, and has been growing in popularity ever since. In North America alone, there have been over 120 cohousing developments completed (including Wolf Willow Cohousing in Saskatoon) and there are more than 100 new projects at various stages of development (including Prairie Spruce Cohousing in Regina). In Canada, there are 14 complete, 11 in development, and at least 10 forming. Visit www.cohousing.ca for more information.
Getting more out of where we live.
Living in cohousing allows us to gain more out of our home. The shared space extends our living space; we’re provided with access to amenities such as a guest room, entertainment space, and large yard; we can easily borrow something or get some help from our neighbours next door; and we can work on interesting projects together, socialize, and spend time with a great group of people.
We have trusted neighbours.
In a community where people know and trust their neighbours, there are plenty of opportunities to reduce the burdens of day-to-day living. For example, shared meals take place as little or as often as residents would like; yard work and condo maintenance is managed collectively; and neighbours are able to look after your home or pet while you’re away.
Living and working side by side.
We often get questions about the dynamics of our group.
From the very beginning, we prioritized inclusion, care, and respect. The homeowners of Radiance Cohousing worked on this project together for a number of years – there were no conflicts, rather, our relationships only strengthened. Not only that, but any tension or small annoyances that arise are greatly outweighed by the benefits of cohousing – we get to live in homes that were designed to meet our needs, share in great homemade meals, participate in interesting conversations, spend time in a beautiful yard, and gain meaningful friendships.
Cohousing is a condo unlike other condos.
Radiance Cohousing is not a cooperative or communal housing; it is a Condominium Corporation. However, unlike a typical condo, construction and design were managed by the homeowners. Because of this, the final product is the result of decisions that were made through a highly collaborative and co-creative process, and reflects what the residents want in their own homes and shared space.
Want to learn more about cohousing? Visit the Canadian Cohousing Network's website.