Co-Housing Proposal Comes to City Hall

An artist rendering of the proposed co-housing complex on 33rd Ave in East Vancouver.

Vancouverites look at shared living space as a way to combat the over-priced real estate market.

Today City Hall is being given a proposal which would see three lots on 33rd Ave in east Vancouver rezoned in order to create a co-housing complex. As opposed to a co-operative housing complex, wherein a corporation or association owns units and residents own shares in that corporation, co-housing allows each individual to own some living space outright, and share other areas with fellow residents.

The proposed complex would include 31 units, each with their own private bathroom and bedroom (or bedrooms) and access to shared space including a dining room, rooftop garden, children’s activity room and office space. In addition to laneway housing and micro lofts, co-housing is another inventive avenue through which Vancouverites are hoping to find affordable living space in what The Economist dubbed 2013’s most expensive city in North America.

While the units are well below the standard cost for a single detached property in Greater Vancouver (which the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver averaged to be $1,042,900 for February 2013) they are still set to come at a hefty sum: the complex estimates the price of a 875 sq. ft. unit to be $480,000. The co-housing concept is also gaining traction outside of Vancouver’s over-priced real estate market, as similar projects are also being proposed across the province in Victoria, Nelson, Bowen Island and Nanaimo.