Co-ownership of a sustainable lifestyle block for mixed generations
Co-ownership of the family home becomes available when older people downsize into a grannyflat in their own garden. If you’d like to know about a Perth example – sustainable, almost self-sufficient opportunity, have a look at this hills property, 6km from Midland train.
Covid 19 job losses have caused many young couples to give up their massive mortgage. Rent costs begin at $300 for a modest house, probably not in an ideal location. What if you could work on the property, thus have purposeful work which pays for the rent, and if the opportunity suits everyone, perhaps begin to buy in?
The following extracts are taken from an article by The Conversation which describes the pro’s and cons’ of co-ownership, and has many links to other relevant articles and reports 🙂
Housing affordability is at crisis levels in many Australian cities, fuelled by an inadequate supply of housing in areas close to jobs and a taxation system that favours investors over first home buyers.
The Reserve Bank has suggested that “the answer… lies in more innovative and flexible use of the land that we have so that the marginal cost of adding more stock of dwellings is lower.”
Co-housing – where a group of friends, extended family members or downsizers band together to buy into small blocks with some common space – may well be one of those innovations.
What is co-housing?
Forget your preconceived ideas about communes and share houses.
This version of co-housing is a mainstream concept wherein suitable single-dwelling suburban blocks are adapted to accommodate two or three smaller dwellings with some shared spaces, [including the garden] reducing the overall physical and environmental footprint per household.
Co-housers could be friends struggling to afford a first home, intergenerational families or downsizers wanting to unlock equity for their retirement and live close to friends or family.
Co-housers typically enjoy more privacy and independence than flatmates and each household in the group owns or rents a defined space. Co-housing differs from duplex or multi-unit housing in that more of the space is shared, enabling more efficient use of land. It is similar in principle to granny flat development but less restrictive, allowing for more varied and flexible household groupings….
The composition of Australian households is changing: our population is ageing and just over 30% of households will be single person households by 2026. Social isolation is a serious emerging issue. Lifestyles are changing and there are signs, such as the sharing economy, of new, more collaborative paradigms for urban living.
Co-housing has potential to make buying or renting a home cheaper but also enables sharing of bills, cars and household goods, as well as trading of services like babysitting and care for the elderly. This is significant: as households collaborate to share resources (including skills and capabilities) an informal sharing economy grows, leaving many financially better off.
There’s a city planning benefit too. To remain liveable, resilient and economically competitive, growing Australian cities must limit urban sprawl. Yet increasing densities is a fraught issue that often sees planners, developers and local communities in conflict. Whilst multi-unit housing remains a significant part of the solution, co-housing adds another option to the mix – one that increases suburban densities in a way that is modest, incremental and distributed.
Another useful article includes a US experience
And the WA Co-ownership projects
First started 1988 – Pinakarri
All small private projects completed & in progress – Green Fabric
Hills spacious original 3×1 house next to National Park, mentioned at begining of blog
If you’d like to discuss these options for your relationship in a specialist marriage counselling session, ph 0417 997 016 or visit my website 🙂