How is it different?
There are some characteristics of collaborative housing that make it unique, such as its greater emphasis on sharing, community building and participation. But is it really that different from the conventional types of housing we’re used to?
Below are answers to some common questions.
Is it only for alternative types?
Not at all! While there are projects that would fit into that category, collaborative housing is an inclusive model with plenty of options to suit mainstream lifestyles.
Is is a type of commune?
No, in collaborative housing each household retains financial autonomy. While they may share ownership of the common facilities, each household’s finances remain separate. Also, while residents may share some values, the group is not bound by any particular ideology.
How's it different to apartment living?
Collaborative housing really puts a focus on sharing and building community. There is likely to be a greater degree of sharing, though exact details will depend on the preference of the residents, and the design uses social contact design principles to encourage casual social interaction.
The delivery process is different too. Conventional apartments are usually delivered by a developer and reflect conservative projections of what the market wants. Future residents input substantively to the collaborative housing process, so the end result is closely tailored to their needs. This typically results in more sharing and a greater level of design innovation.
How's it different to a share house?
In a share house, residents typically have their own bedroom and share the rest of the house. In collaborative housing, each household has its own private home, usually including kitchen,
bathroom and living space. However it’s all relatively compact, traded off for better shared facilities that might include guest accommodation, entertaining and cooking areas, a workspace, or any kind of space the residents see value in sharing.
Is a granny flat collaborative housing?
Yes, it can be considered a type of collaborative housing at smallest end of the scale if it is set up to encourage sharing and social interaction between households. It allows two households, often related, to co-locate on a block, share and interact.
Is a boarding house collaborative housing?
Yes, it can be considered a type of collaborative housing if it is set up to encourage social interaction and self-management by residents. See here for more on new generation boarding houses.