Councils should support cohousing, report says

A report has called on local government to make land available for groups who desire to establish cohousing communities.

Researchers for the UK Cohousing Network believe that cohousing would prove beneficial for groups if planning, financial and development support was more widely adopted.

The report questions how social and private developers could integrate cohousing into mainstream housing developments while encouraging local authorities to make urban land cheaply available for such a project.

Cohousing communities enable inhabitants to share facilities but retain their own private dwellings, allowing for a ‘neighbourly, supportive lifestyle’. According to the the UK Cohousing Network, there are 19 established cohousing communities in the UK, which is minimal when compared to over 600 in Germany.

Dr Melissa Fernández Arrigoitia, an author of the report and researcher from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) said: “There are fantastic social, political, ecological benefits that make cohousing a real alternative to conventional housing for some people.

“While each initiative will be unique, we should find ways to make it simpler for newly formed groups to get their plans off the ground without having to reinvent the wheel each time.”