Cohousing started to develop in the UK at the end of the 1990s. The movement has gradually built up momentum and there are now 19 built cohousing communities. A further 65+ cohousing groups are developing projects and new groups are forming all the time.
Cohousing communities in the UK range from around 10 households to around 40 households. Most communities are mixed communities with single people, couples and families but some are only for people over 50 and two are for women only. The communities themselves range from new developments built to modern eco standards to conversions of everything from farms to Jacobean mansions to former hospital buildings and are in urban, rural and semi- rural locations. Some have very large land holdings as part of the community, others very little. Increasingly, communities are working in partnership with other agencies or are using innovative legal and financial structures to enable them to offer a range of tenure types including rental options. Cohousing is only one form of intentional community. It may not be for you.
See the UK Cohousing Network leaflet attached below for a comprehensive overview of cohousing: what it is, how to do it, where to see it.
For a fuller listing of all the UK’s intentional communities, some much more “communal” than cohousing, see "Diggers & Dreamers".