Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is cohousing?

Cohousing neighbourhoods are designed to combine the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of shared resources and community living. Cohousing strives to create the sense of a village where neighbours know and support each other, encouraging a sense of community while maintaining options for privacy. It is an alternative development model in which future residents participate in the planning, design, and development of the community so that it directly meets their needs. In the process of working together, residents form foundational bonds in the ongoing community.


Q. How did cohousing get started?

The concept emerged in Denmark about 50 years ago. It was introduced to North America by the architect team of Charles Durrett and Kathryn McCamant with the publication in 1988 of their book Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves. Since then, well over 100 cohousing communities have been completed in North America. There are now 13 in Canada, and there are many more in various stages of development. The concept is quickly spreading throughout the world. Durrett’s "The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living" has inspired projects focusing on the needs of an ageing population.


Q. what is the purpose of the ravens crossing cohousing group?

Future Ravens Crossing Cohousing homeowners are developing a strata-titled community with a difference! New members are invited to participate as we work alongside professionals to design and develop our future homes. We envision a community primarily of compact, creatively-designed bright apartments with extensive common facilities to augment our private dwellings and support us to have more connection with our neighbours. We want to locate in Brentwood Bay or Sidney, within a ten-minute walk of the amenities and green spaces we need to live a more sustainable lifestyle. We welcome introverts and extroverts in all ages and stages of life who value privacy and connection within a simpler, healthier, and more energy-efficient environment.


Q. what will the community be like?

With the guidance of experienced professionals from Cohousing Development Consulting, we are working together to design a community that meets our needs and stated priorities. Cohousing design can take a variety of forms—depending on site conditions, local zoning, and desires of members. All completed communities have included leading-edge environmental features. Some examples include: grey water recycling, solar energy harvesting, efficient heating systems, compact design, sustainably harvested wood, recycled materials, water conservation, organic gardening, and preservation of natural habitat. The optimum size of a cohousing community is between 15 and 30 households. Anything smaller puts too much pressure on the individual to participate in community activities. Anything larger does not support a close-knit community. West Wind Harbour Cohousing will have 25-30 homes.


Q. will i own my own home?

Once the development is complete, individual member households will purchase the units that have been created through the development process, and the construction loan will be paid off. The legal status will change to ‘strata title’, and each household will own their own home together with a share of the common facilities. Most communities in North America have chosen this ownership structure for financing convenience.


q. what is it going to cost?

At this point, cohousing is not subsidized in Canada. Participants are people who can afford to buy their own homes, and the costs are approximately current market rate. With the help of the professional team, the members of the group establish size, quality, and cost guidelines for the project.