CoHoWM is a group of people who have a project to create a cohousing community in the West Midlands. (Note that a cohousing community is not a commune!) In a cohousing community people have their own homes, but there are also shared facilities – for example: an allotment; a workshop; a community house. People live in their own homes, but typically spend part of their week in shared activities such as looking after children, eating meals or doing maintenance together.
Modern living is atomised. Families and singles live in their own space, and usually have little contact with their neighbours. It’s hard to organise life to share (joyful) burdens such as childcare. Elderly people living in their own homes can suffer terrible loneliness. Housing is increasingly unaffordable. Cohousing solves so many of these problems.
CoHoWM aims, in the first instance, to develop one cohousing community of around 20-30 mixed residences, filled with people reflecting the full joyous diversity of the West Midlands – people of every colour, class, age, family status, sex, gender, sexual orientation and physical/mental ability. Together we will thrash out the details of our living arrangements – who we are, what houses and common facilities we will have, the timetable for developing and moving into our community, where it will be situated, what our vision and goals are, and how we can work together to achieve all this. All this – and the eventual living together(!) – will be hard work, but it will be so rewarding!
There are many different forms of cohousing:
- Situation – Urban vs rural
- Build – New build or adaptation of existing buildings
- Tenure – Traditional home ownership, shared ownership, rent, shared rent, mutual home ownership