In the sixties a group of young Danish people devised a way of communal living, without needing to buy or rent the residence and with a series of shared services for all the residents. This concept of communal living spread through the United States, arrived in Europe and is being adopted in Spain, where it has been particularly welcomed by older adults.
Slowly but surely, cohousing is gaining a foothold in Spain, positioning itself as an alternative to purchasing or renting property individually. In this post we tell you what Cohousing is and how it works.
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What is Cohousing?
Cohousing is a model of communal living based on the concept of collaborative consumption. For this, a group of people who have similar values and lifestyles decide to design a communal house to suit them.
Cohousing is a project that requires the collaboration of all the members of its community who will then live in the same property. Members of the community have to clearly define their needs, as the design of the house will be based on energy saving and care for the environment, and will therefore be custom-made for the people who are going to live in it.
How does Cohousing work?
The cohousing system is based on establishing cooperatives that work under a regime of transferring the right of use in the property.
Under this cooperative model, anyone who pays a monthly fee, acquires the right to use the property and the communal areas, but the ownership of the property belongs to the cooperative. This right of use can be indefinite, transferred or inherited.
The aims of Cohousing
The main aim of this cohousing concept is to create a new housing model, which is efficient and sustainable.
Another of its aims is to create a community of people who cooperate with each other and make maximum use of the resources obtained by the community. For example, some of these communities have small allotments that are looked after by the members, or they run workshops of interest to the members of the community.
Many people choose this way of living as it allows them to remain independent and prevents them, once they have reached a certain age, from becoming a burden on their families.
Also, for many people, choosing cohousing means escaping from their previous lonely life and finding a family and a better quality of life there.
“Where shall I live?” has become a common question among the elderly. Some of them are dependent, suffering from illness, do not have a social life, and contact with their family is limited by distance or other reasons. All this leads to them living alone, with their children or in other cases in an old people’s home.
However, a high percentage of the elderly are not comfortable with these solutions, as the report “UDP Report on the Elderly” shows. This report was prepared by the Democratic Union of Spanish Pensioners and Retirees (UDP) in 2015. They asked retired people to assign a value between 0 and 10 to different options of where to live in their old age. On average, they gave a mark of 4.5 to the option of living in old people’s homes, and 4.4 to the option of living with their family or their children. None of the options gained the approval of our senior citizens.
This situation brings us to an option that is given a better score than the previous options, which is Senior Cohousing.