What is co-housing?

At a time when housing is so expensive and such a big source of carbon emissions, it’s a shame that there is so little innovation around homes in Britain. I suspect this is largely due to the dominance of a handful of big companies in Britain’s housing market, which skews things towards one model – build estates of new homes and sell them as private dwellings.

One avenue to investigate is co-housing. It’s more common in Denmark, though still a minority interest, and since I’m in Denmark this week, it seemed like a good time to mention it.

Co-housing is a collaborative approach to home ownership, where homes are built as shared neighbourhoods from the start, rather than private buildings. Houses are often smaller, with shared facilities such as guest rooms, a laundry, or function rooms. Gardens and growing spaces are often shared. They can take a variety of forms, but they’re often built with sustainable living to the fore.

The UK’s best example is probably the LILAC development in Leeds, but there are a handful of others already established and several in development. You can find out more from the UK Co-housing Network.


  1. We are in the process of designing the first co-housing project in Northern Ireland. We have the land and are almost ready to submit for planning.

  2. CO-housing is a very good model for tackling the Affordability Crisis in Housing across the “Anglosphere”
    The problem is seen in The UK, Australia, USA, New Zealand, etc.
    Home@ix Mind Map
    I put together this document on CO Housing and a Community token called Loft Miles as an initial
    basis for exploring Self Build/cooperative Housing communities.
    this is the start of the section on co housing
    UK Co-Housing,

    A finance solution for Cannock Mill Cohousing
    Some areas of financial risk for self-build cohousing we
    have identified are:

    Insufficient members
    Members unable to meet financial commitments to
    company (amount or timing)
    Inability to raise external finance
    Failure to acquire site at acceptable cost
    Adverse changes in property values or building costs
    Third-party liability
    Inadequate accounting records/compliance failures
    Contractor insolvency
    Planning not achieved or onerous planning conditions
    Interest rate changes
    In parallel with talking to other finance providers, we spotted and applied
    for the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) Builders Finance Fund in
    May/June 2014 (and a related infrastructure fund – which eventually we

    did not take forwards). On 8 September 2014 we were the only cohousing
    company (and the only developer in Colchester) to be accepted by HCA
    for the next stage (due diligence). The HCA Builders Finance Fund is now
    replaced by the Home Building Fund. For more information

    Home@ix is a full spectrum finance and construction procurement engine
    we designed it to address the list of issues in Cannock Mill Housing surrounding “finance” risk and more besides

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