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Cohousing: What it is and how it works in Spain

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There is already an alternative to nursing homes in the United States and Europe, what is cohousing? Each time there are more types of communities and ways to share housing both to save and to improve coexistence and quality of life.

Slowly but steadily, the housing or cohousing cooperatives are making inroads in Spain, positioning themselves as an alternative to purchasing or renting homes at an individual level. In this post, we detail what the cohousing or cohousing consists of and how it works in Spain.

Cohousing is one of the most booming community models, both internationally and nationally, part of the Andel Nordic model.

The most accurate definition is that of a town or community formed by individual houses where people share common services, social and recreational activities and dining rooms. It arises as a result of the growth of life expectancy and a large number of elderly people living alone.

Although it is generally conceived as an option for the elderly, there are also cases in which young people decide to create a community with their friends, following this model.

How does cohousing work?

The cohousing system is based on the formation of cooperatives under the assignment of the right to use the home.

Under this modality, the cooperative, who pays a monthly fee, acquires the right to use the house and the common areas, but the owner of the property belongs to the cooperative. This right of use may be indefinite, transmitted or inherited.

Objectives of cohousing

The main objective of this concept of cohousing seeks to create a new model of housing, which is efficient and sustainable.

Another objective is to create a community of people who cooperate with each other and make the most of the resources obtained by the community. In many of these communities, small gardens are included that are cultivated among all, for example. As well as workshops that interest the members of the community.

Many people choose this type of housing model because it allows them to maintain their independence and avoid being a burden on their family members once they reach a certain age.

Also, by choosing the cohousing many people get out of lonely life and find in that home a family and a higher quality of life.

Senior cohousing

In our country, the option of cohousing is focusing mainly on the group of older people.

A report presented in 2015 by the Democratic Union of Pensioners and Retirees of Spain (UPD) under the name of 'The cohousing and the elderly' indicated that, 2 out of 3 people over the age of 65 already had knowledge of this residential movement and, up to 40% of them could consider going to live there.

A new way of living and coexisting of the elderly, leaving aside the residences or the dependence of the children. A new starting point for those people who, in spite of fulfilling years, want to live independently and feel part of a community with whom they share concerns, interests and needs.

Cohousing in Spain

Currently, in our country, there are more than 30 centres dedicated to the promotion of cohousing, although only one third is fully operational

According to Movicoma, there are about 35 collaborative housing projects for the elderly in different phases: unemployed, in training, a trained group, with land/location, under construction and living together.

MOVICOMA, a research project that studies the rise, development and impact of the collaborative housing movement of older people in Spain, states that in our country there are 10 cooperatives of right of use for the elderly where there are already people living together.

These include Trabensol projects in Madrid (which was the first senior cohousing in Spain), La Muralleta in Tarragona and Profuturo in Valladolid.

As you can see, senior cohousing is still a system in a very initial phase in our country, which still does not have the necessary governmental impulse, although it is expected to be activated in the not too distant future, it is postulated as a very good option to take into account to spend an old age comfortable, active and in company.

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2 thoughts on “Cohousing: What it is and how it works in Spain

  1. Janny and Fred Wieler

    My husband and I are recently looking to buy a part time living home / apartment in Spain but are not very impressed by the standard holiday home/ apartments in Spain. We would live to live near to more like minded people, would like to have a small garden, a natural environment. We are 69 and 77 active pensioners. Travel in our campervan but feel that something more permanent might suit us better in the future.


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