British Columbia

Vancouver co-housing complex: owners set to move into city's first

New homeowners are getting excited about inching their way closer to moving into Vancouver's first co-housing complex.

Homeowners say unique set-up will build strong sense of community

Vancouver's first co-housing complex is located at 1733 E 33rd Ave. All the units have already sold. (Vancouver Cohousing)

For at least one new resident, the 31-unit co-housing complex in East Vancouver is a cure for loneliness.

"I'm looking forward to lots of hugs, lots of connection," said Lorne Mallin, a 68-year-old retired journalist who bought a unit and says it will be a big change from his current housing.

"I can spend a whole day in my beautiful apartment looking at the ocean, but no one will knock on my door and say how about a cup of coffee?," he said. 

Owners of the city's first co-housing complex can begin moving in at the end of January. 

The complex located at 1733 East 33 Avenue, allows 60 people to live in the complex in their own private condominiums.

"We're just people who really like to be engaged and involved in our communities," said Ericka Stephens-Rennie, unit-owner in Vancouver's first co-housing complex. (CBC)

The units range from studios to four-bedroom units and each resident has the option of sharing a large common space that includes a lounge, dining room, yoga studio and kitchen. 

'We're just people who really like to be engaged and involved in our communities," said Ericka Stephens-Rennie, who also bought a unit. "It's not like we're in glass houses, where you can see each other. There's a good balance between personal and private space."

The units cost about 10 per cent more than comparable housing, but owners believe it will save them money in the long run because they are sharing resources like food and babysitting. 

"Think about the things every family does every night. They're making dinner, they're bathing children, they're helping with homework, they're figuring out what people will take for lunch the next day," said Stephens-Rennie adding that the physical space of the complex will support and encourage this type of sharing and community building.

With files from Kiran Dhillon


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