Co-housing in North America

As a custom build developer, Unboxed Homes is trying to shake up the housing industry and give home owners a different avenue to creating their own home – custom build as opposed to the more risky self build, or the more rigid finished home.

The short film we’re featuring in this article focuses on co-housing communities or villages in North America, which could give us interesting ideas on how to deliver more affordable housing here in the UK.

As Jen Muranetz from Collective Housing Society in Vancouver BC says, traditionally, the strategy of the housing industry has been similar to the forestry industry. “They clear up the forest. They plant all the same trees. They let them grow. They clear up the forest. They plant all the same trees. They let them grow.” Ending up in the same endless cycle doesn’t allow for growth or evolution of the housing industry. What we should be doing instead is diversifying the types of housing that are available, whether it be finished homes, tower blocks, custom build/self-build or co-housing communities, so that they all work together to deliver the housing that we need.

Community housing can not only lower the cost of living, but also combat loneliness and isolation by providing a sense of community and belonging. There is a “30% increase of premature death of people who are socially isolated,” says Grace Kim of Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing in Seattle, so community housing also provides a real social need.

Find out more about how co-housing communities work and the types of tiny homes and villages that are being created in North America in the video below.

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