Current or future residents
Collaborative housing in Australia is just getting started. If you are living in collaborative housing, or would like to, there is a lot you can do to help collaborative housing to take off.
Connect with others
Collaborative housing is all about collaboration, so connecting with others is crucial. There are several key organisations that can help current or future collaborative housing residents to connect with others interested in this type of housing.
Cohousing Australia is supporting the spread of cohousing and intentional communities across Australia and has set up working groups to help build the movement. They are involved in lobbying, education and research. They have a vision of a cohousing community in every suburb in Australia.
Common Equity Housing Limited (Victoria) and Common Equity NSW Limited (NSW) support housing cooperatives to get started and to thrive. They can help people looking for secure and affordable rental housing to connect with others.
Nightingale Housing facilitates the construction of multi-residential buildings that are financially, socially and environmentally sustainable. If you are interested in living in one of these buildings, their website has more about upcoming projects that you can sign up for.
If you want to connect with others to develop your own collaborative housing community, you can find more resources on our Gather a Community.
Most people don’t know much about collaborative housing. You can help to build the movement by telling others about this way of living.
Talk to your friends and family about their housing needs and preferences. You might find that the idea of collaborative housing is just what they’re looking for.
Talk to real estate agents about collaborative housing and see if they know of anyone else who might like the idea, or any properties that might be suitable.
Talk to retirement living providers about ways to bring collaborative housing principles into retirement living. There are some ideas here.
Talk to your architect or designer about ways to make your home more flexible and adaptable for the future. You might not be ready for collaborative housing right now, but it’s good to have the option to create additional dwellings on your property in the future.
Contact your local representative
There is a lot that governments at all levels can do to support collaborative housing.
Because collaborative housing is so new in Australia, it sometimes doesn’t fit so well under local Council approval processes. If you are thinking of a collaborative housing approach, read about approval processes for small and large projects and get in touch with your local Council about what is possible. You might need to lobby your Council to provide greater support for collaborative housing. For example, Banyule City Council in Victoria offers concessions on development contributions to support cohousing.
State Governments can also help by changing planning laws and policies to support collaborative housing. Get in touch with the Planning Minister in your state or your local representative to see how they can help.
After reading through this web guide you still want to know more, there are some more detailed resources out there about collaborative housing. Some of our favourites are listed below.
The Fifth Estate is an Australian news site that often features stories about types of collaborative housing.
Living Closer is a great report from the UK about the history of cohousing in Europe and the UK and recent developments.
We have developed some fact sheets that might also be of interest:
If you really want to get into the detail, we have written a Literature Review on collaborative housing.
Still got questions?