What is cohousing?

‘Cohousing’ is the term used to describe an intentional community of private homes clustered around a shared space. These shared spaces typically feature a large kitchen and dining area, laundry and recreational spaces. Shared outdoor spaces may also include parking, parks and gardens. Residents of cohousing communities will usually have independent incomes and private lives but will plan community activities and social events to enjoy as a group whilst also sharing resources like tools and equipment.

Although the concept was born in the 60s in Scandinavia, it came to the UK in the 1990s and is becoming increasingly popular with 19 purpose built cohousing communities and 60+ cohousing groups now in evidence.

One of the main benefits of cohousing is the more sustainable living associated with it. Sharing spaces, equipment and resources has a positive impact on the environment, promotes energy saving, reduces environmental impact and reduces costs. But if cohousing seems a little extreme for you, a more accessible option is house sharing.

With property prices still on the increase, house sharing is often the most practical option for young professionals, especially those living in expensive areas like London. There are many benefits such as sharing the costs of bills, internet and TV subscriptions; sharing household items like kitchen equipment and sharing the cleaning duties - though this might require a rota!

Living in a shared house is also good socially as there’s always likely to be someone around to watch TV with or go for a drink. You might even be able to share your commute if you work near to your housemate, helping save the environment at the same time.