What is Co-Living?
Co-living provides private sleeping quarters with communal facilities including kitchen, dining, and living areas. Co-living can take a variety of forms including housing cooperatives, continuing care centers, group homes, dorms, sorority and fraternity houses, and rooming houses. Ownership models for co-living vary and can include management ownership with rental by the unit or rooms, cooperative ownership, or owner occupied with rented units. Luxury models of co-living are often owned by development companies who market the benefits of community and all-inclusive experiences. Co-living can decrease total housing costs and provide social support, making it especially beneficial for single family households and seniors. Co-housing has a specific focus on socially engaging with the resident community, which can make it particularly beneficial to seniors.
Develop housing options for seniors to age-in-community
Co-living is a diverse housing option that can provide lower maintenance and potentially lower priced housing options for seniors.
Facilitate multigenerational and shared housing
co-living is a form of shared housing.
Keep seniors physically and socially connected
By sharing spaces seniors remain connected to other residents.
Create a range of price options for housing
As co-living provides less private areas, the cost to live in group housing is often lower.
Make it Happen
Co-living has been occurring organically in the form of roommates sharing housing, however, this has usually occurred in housing designed for nuclear families. Municipalities can encourage the development of housing designed specifically for co-living. Municipalities can support co-living by adjusting parking requirements, unrelated person, and group housing regulations, or by creating new use categories.
Co-Living in Practice
Located in Kimberton, Pennsylvania Altair EcoVillage is a forming age-restricted cohousing community. The community provides a local example and resources on cohousing.
Thistledown Co-Living House
Thistledown Co-Living House is an intentional living community located in New Holland, Pennsylvania within the Garden Spot Village. The house is a co-operative living home, where five unrelated seniors live together. The home allows seniors to get the amenities of the Garden Spot Village community at a more affordable price. The lease is monthly with a sliding scale rent based on income. The house includes individual bedroom and bathrooms with shared communal space.
Aria Cohousing is a multi-generational intentional living community in Denver, Colorado. The community consists of 28 individual units - while each unit has its own living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom â€“ the common areas include a shared kitchen, community room, dining room, sunroom, and outdoor areas. The community places a specific focus on resident social interaction and community self-management to promote connection and money saving. The project converted a former convent into the co-living community.
Find Out More
- Elder Cohousing, AARP
- Cohousing: A Growing Concept in Communal Living, AARP
- 'We Need Each Other': Seniors Are Drawn to New Housing Arrangements, New York Times