[Editor’s Note: This is a copy of our regular community newsletter. If you’d like to sign up, email us at hello@compasscohousing.com. ]

I’m in the mood!

For the return of spring… and some sunshine… and the ability to walk around without a thick coat on!

But first, we gotta get through February.

Still, it’s not a total loss. There’s Valentine’s Day… and heart shaped chocolates, roses and oversized teddy bears.

Commercialized it may be, but why not make time to reflect on all the things we love?

Like Compass of course! 😉

You may remember that last month, I brought you the story of our member Loriane, whose cohousing family helped her through the loss of her husband of 49 years, Grant.

This month, I wanted to share with you a different perspective as featured this month in the local newspapers and online… It’s a focus on young parents and their wee ones.

That’s because families are a big part of Compass as well. There’s so much to gain for both parents and kids…

…built-in friends their own age (our oldest kids are already teenagers, our youngest was born last Saturday and she’s a real cutie!)

…lots of adults around to help share the load that comes with having young children.

…the ability for kids to learn from people with a wide set of skills and experience.

…and even the occasional date night for the parents!

If you’re a part of a young family and have been wondering whether cohousing is right for you, consider the story of Bev and Andrew…

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Langley group gives new meaning to the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’

A multigenerational community where neighbours lend a hand

Langley couple Bev and Andrew Gundy had their first child, Leeland, in February 2020.

“Everyone warned us that our world was going to change, that having a child could be really isolating — and then right after Leeland was born we went into our first COVID lockdown!” Bev laughs.

Bev and Andrew Gundy with their son Leeland.
Bev and Andrew Gundy with their son Leeland.

Right now the Gundys are living in a starter apartment, but as their family grows they know they’ll need more space. Finding an affordable home in Langley hasn’t been easy, but just before Christmas the Gundys found a solution: Compass Cohousing. They’ll own an affordable three-bedroom apartment, and enjoy communal spaces where Leeland can play with other kids.

“The rest of our parenting experience isn’t going to be isolating! Leeland will be surrounded by a community of ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ who know him and care for him.”

What is Cohousing?

Bev and Andrew first heard of cohousing in university, when Bev toured WindSong, the oldest cohousing community in Canada, as part of a sustainable living class.

“At the time we were living on campus, where our whole community was right down the hall,” Bev says. “I think of cohousing as campus living for grownups.”

However, in this case, each member owns their home as part of a strata. Just like any traditional condo project, they can qualify for a conventional mortgage, build up equity over time and can sell when they choose.

Compass Cohousing has 40 such homes, as well as communal spaces that neighbours share with resources and expertise.

“Rather than each family buying a lawnmower and a washing machine, we can share. Life becomes a little less expensive,” Andrew says.

Andrew’s looking forward to growing vegetables in the rooftop garden, and consulting more experienced gardeners when he runs into trouble.

“I recently tried growing tomatoes in the classroom with my science students, but there’s a lot I don’t know. I’ve been researching on my own, but it will be so much better to be able to ask a neighbour!”

Bev is reasonably handy, so she’s looking forward to using the workshop.

“If we want to add a trellis to our balcony, I’ll know whose door I can knock on for advice.”

A view of the proposed common house that will include a children's room, music room, rooftop lounge, community gym, teens space, rooftop gardens, guest rooms and a business centre for work-at-home moms and dads.
A view of the proposed common house that will include a children’s room, music room, rooftop lounge, community gym, teens space, rooftop gardens, guest rooms and a business centre for work-at-home moms and dads.

Community Dinners

Each home has its own kitchen, and there’s also a large kitchen and dining hall in the common house where the Gundys are looking forward to sharing meals.

“The play area was intentionally placed right next to the dining hall, with a big window between the two spaces. When we have community dinners, Leeland will be able to run off to the other room to play and we’ll still be able to keep an eye on him,” Bev says. “Plus he’ll be around other kids — every day will be like summer camp.”

Learning to live in community will take time and effort, but the Gundys say it’s worth it for the companionship they’ll find. And with a well-established decision-making process already in place, they’re optimistic about any challenges that may arise.

“Community makes people stronger! We won’t just be parroting these values to Leeland, it will be demonstrated to him every day.”

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A million thanks to Bev and Andrew for allowing the papers to share their story.

Ready to see if you’re the right fit for our family?

Let’s get to know each other a bit first. The easiest way to do that is with an info-session.

You’ll learn about our project and the people behind it. And see if you might see yourself being a part of our community.

As usual, by Zoom from the comfort of your own home.

Registering is really easy too. Just head to the site here to find out when our next info sessions take place or email either Doug (doug@compasscohousing.com) or Michelle (michelle@compasscohousing.com).

And that’s all for me. I’ll leave you with a joke about Valentine’s my (7 and 3/4s year-old son) told me yesterday:

What do pieces of fruit write to each other in their Valentine’s Day cards?

“I love you berry much!”

Ugh…

Talk to you next month!

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT COMPASS

Langley’s New Village Opportunity

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