This week we made our second transfer of $4,500 to CoHousing Australia for the CoHousing Connector project. Through the 2023 democratic budget, customer members voted to provide $9,000 for this impact project to drive change in communities.
CoHousing Australia is dedicated to accelerating the uptake of sustainable ‘intentional’ cohousing communities as a positive response to the housing crisis. Cohousing is a model which involves residents living in private dwellings within a shared, ‘intentional community’, typically a cooperative, or co-governed model. Research shows that cohousing can address social isolation, drive sustainable building and living, and offers an alternative, and connected, community model of living.
Many Australians wish to access/ create community-led housing models which are decent, eco-friendly and affordable, yet they lack the means to connect with like-minded people. The project enables CoHousing Australia to research and collate any current groups/lists and look at models internationally. It then supports the back-end development of their website to be able to partner with other cooperatives and to ‘feed in’ membership and promote the cohousing connector service.
In 2023 a project steering committee was formed, made up of cohousing residents as well as people with research and technical expertise. Technical research has been completed and “test driving” of the tool will begin in early 2024. They hope to create a platform that is intuitive and easy to use. The model envisioned will allow individuals, emerging and established cohousing groups to upload their own profile and include relevant demographic details and a range of other categories, such as being able to search for location-specific resident-led housing groups. The platform will also offer a calendar function where groups can flag cohousing related events.