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Development of new cohousing: lessons from a London scheme for the over-50s

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Urban Research and Practice
Issue number1
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)106-121
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date17/02/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


There is increased interest in the UK in cohousing as a desirable alternative for older people. The economics of developing cohousing differ from the normal model for residential development; in particular, the participatory nature of the process increases the time required and there are higher risks for both resident/purchaser and developer. We examine the nature of supply and risk using the case of a new senior cohousing community in south London. Given its evident benefits, senior cohousing may eventually become more widespread, and perceived risks will fall. However, the nature of the residential development process means that cohousing will always be at a disadvantage when competing for land in high demand areas like London, and the time required for participatory processes increases costs. To currently increase the small number of cohousing communities in the UK and ensure affordability, targeted measures may be necessary to enable groups to access land and mitigate the higher costs associated with longer term collaborative processes.