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How to build a co-housing project?


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#1 nerdondo

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 11:57 AM

I am part of the Tibetan Cultural Society of Vancouver Island, which includes around 75 Tibetan immigrants (and some non-Tibetan spouses and friends) on southern Vancouver Island. We have been trying to work together to establish/build a co-housing development for our growing community.

 

Co-housing is essentially strata, but with more common areas, such as a community kitchen/dining area for pot lucks and events; shared rooms for music, children, hobbies; community garden space. For an excellent example of this, consider Pacific Gardens in Nanaimo, https://pacificgardens.ca/. This project was built on a 4-ac parcel.

 

What we are stumped on is how to go about starting one of these projects. We were in contact with a developer who suggested we must first find a suitable property, then look at feasibility and financing. But finding a suitable property is quite difficult! We are looking for a few acres, but these seem to be invariably within ALR. We don't have time and money to speculate on a property that would take years to rezone, if approved at all. 

 

My latest thinking is that we should find a developer who has recently purchased a parcel, then work with them to plan and build. My question to you is: how off base is my thinking on this? What do you think would be the most straightforward way to build a ~30-50 unit strata, designed for co-housing? Also, who might be some good contacts I could approach with this question and project idea?



#2 Mike K.

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 08:33 AM

You may want to speak with the folks who are pursuing the Ravens Crossing Cohousing project up in Sidney, with more on the development here.


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#3 Mike K.

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 08:37 AM

My latest thinking is that we should find a developer who has recently purchased a parcel, then work with them to plan and build. My question to you is: how off base is my thinking on this? What do you think would be the most straightforward way to build a ~30-50 unit strata, designed for co-housing? Also, who might be some good contacts I could approach with this question and project idea?

 

First and foremost, you'll need sufficient capital to pull such a project together. The costs involved, and the complexity, are significant, and that's all in addition to the land acquisition.

 

ALR land is a non-starter as you're unlikely to see any give no matter how much time, effort and money you throw at the proposal. ALR is a no-go zone, essentially, save for very limited circumstances.

 

It sounds like you may want to meet with the Ravens Crossing folks and discuss how their project came about. There have been several recent cohousing proposals in our region, and none have materialized other than the three that are currently in operation and have been for some time.


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#4 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 08:44 AM

Also, who might be some good contacts I could approach with this question and project idea?

 

 

talk to someone from the UDI and ask advice and they might point you to the right person.  If you have the capital someone will be willing to work with you.  start with some good advice.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 13 July 2019 - 08:52 AM.


#5 Torrontes

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 12:24 PM

Article in the Globe and Mail this weekend:

https://www.theglobe...-co-op-housing/



 



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