Co-Housing: The Rise of Shared Communal Living

Co-housing is not the same as co-living. The difference is co-housing has separate spaces, most often, separate bedrooms with separate entrances.

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They are not contained within one single building, but connected through a series of buildings. Another important difference are the shared spaces such as the kitchen, dining room, bathroom, outdoor areas and living room are communal, meaning everyone within the co-housing community has access to them.

What makes this any different than a hotel or an apartment complex? Well, as we mentioned before, they are not contained all within one building. Secondly, most co-housing living spaces have courtyards where all residents can choose to gather or not. Thirdly, most require residents to have walk outside and enter a different building to be in a common shared area like the kitchen, bathroom and dining room.

Aside from the affordability of many co-housing spaces, people who suffer from feelings of loneliness, who feel withdrawn or isolated, can have both their “alone time” and the ability to share in conversation and friendships with the other residents. In a way, it pushes them out of their shell, especially for those who are extremely introverted or have trouble making friends.

Another important part to consider is the sustainability factor involved. Co-housing cuts down on the consumption of water, electricity and other expenses with less impact on environmental factors while continually giving individuals their own personal space when needed.

Minimalist lifestyle shines in this arena. When most areas are shared between residents, residents can live efficiently and simply within in their own spaces. Contributing to the common areas as needed.

With COVID-19 still a major player in isolation and forcing more and more citizens to stay indoors, co-housing enables more social interaction without impeding on others desire to be alone or away from others for hours at a time. However, it does require them to, at the very least, be around others when hanging outdoors, cooking meals or enjoying meals at the dinner table.