[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.]

Co-ownership and co-living at Compass! Nesting community within community and building more affordable ownership options through collective living.

We hope that you were able to spend some of the December holiday period enjoying the company of friends and family. Compass members had the added joy of a memorable evening of food, companionship and general holiday frivolity at “Compass House” this year.

At Compass, we started thinking about goals and aspirations for 2023 even before we flipped the calendar. One of our biggest aspirations for the coming year is to find ways to make homes at Compass Commons more affordable.

“Affordable housing” in our part of the world, in this day and age, seems like an oxymoron. Compass has not included any profit for its hardworking members, but our project costs are real. The development team continues to search for better deals on kitchen cabinets, flooring, cladding, windows and more. We’re encouraged to see the costs of lumber, concrete and other construction materials come down as many developers sit on the sidelines to wait out this period of inflationary pressure. We’re also encouraged because the supply chain issues of the recent past seem to be largely resolved. Nevertheless, it remains challenging to bring construction costs down dramatically.

Recently we began to explore a new way of looking at the concept of affordability. As a result, we are hoping to encourage something that is gaining more and more interest across North America: collaborative home ownership. This is something that can help people move into ownership positions, although it depends on one key ingredient: collaboration.

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Collaborative home ownership has been around for many years. It usually has been considered among family members or close friends. Lately, as getting into ownership becomes more out of reach, it’s a growing trend that’s expanding in many ways.

It could be embraced by singles and/or couples in their twenties or thirties teaming up to share home ownership and ongoing costs such as insurance, utilities or internet. It could be people over forty downsizing into a “Golden Girls” type of arrangement to protect themselves from social isolation as they age in place in a fun and supportive way. It could even be multiple generations of the same family, living together to share the work, the expenses and the joy. It might also allow a situation where a portion of a house is rented to a roommate.

Consider a three-bedroom townhouse at $900K. This will seem quite out of reach to many not owning currently, but if three people can afford $300K each, then this suddenly seems like a reasonable way to get into the housing market AND create a supportive community.

We believe that if you combine this collaborative ownership with a cohousing community, it makes even more sense. Not only do you have a surrounding community designed for better collaboration, but you also have shared resources in the Common House to augment the household with extra guest bedrooms, office space, laundry, and much more.

We’re excited to team up with CoHo BC to help navigate the arrangements involved in making co-ownership a reality. If you, or someone you know, is interested in further information, you can learn more at an online event which takes place on Thurs, Jan 26th at 7:00 PM. Just click here to register.

Oh, and a belated Happy New Year to everyone.

Howard and Elizabeth, Compass Cohousing.

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