North of 50: Co-housing an interesting alternative

Local senior Sharleen Stoney wants to know if there’s any interest in co-housing for those in their golden years in the Cowichan Valley.

Local senior Sharleen Stoney wants to know if there’s any interest in co-housing for those in their golden years in the Cowichan Valley.

Stoney said co-housing for seniors can offer an attractive alternative to traditional retirement homes.

“Co-housing” differs from “co-op housing” in that you own your own unit in a co-housing facility, as opposed to renting.

Stoney said the concept was first developed in Europe to offer ownership privileges within a close and caring community environment.

Stoney said co-housing encompasses independent and interdependent living that is vastly different from present facilities that are available.

“It consists of various sizes and designs of private strata-titled housing designed specifically for seniors who are interested in building a community together,” she said. “As healthy and active senior citizens, we feel there is a real need for innovative and new housing trends to accommodate seniors in their own community.”

Stoney said that currently there is only one such community on Vancouver Island.

It’s called Harbourside, is located in Sooke, and has attracted the attention of media across Canada.

She said it consists of strata-titled housing that is affordable and centrally located.

“Here, neighbours help each other, socialize together and offer each other a sense of security,” she said.

“It has been shown that senior co-housing saves the system money. An article in the Globe and Mail stated that keeping an elderly citizen in the community and out of long-term care homes saves the system $50,000 per year.”

Stoney said she and some other like-minded seniors in the community,  want to explore the feasibility of creating a small co-housing community in Duncan.

She said a “watered down” version of the original co-housing concept would be welcome in that she would like a builder to build it rather than getting together 25-30 like-minded people and starting the building process on their own.

Stoney can be contacted at Sharleen6869@yahoo.ca.