“It’s a Great Idea for Other People”: Cohousing as a Housing Option for Older Australians
Older Australians currently face housing challenges including supply, accessibility, affordability, security of tenure and isolation. This article examines the potential for cohousing to address these challenges. In interviews, professionals indicated that cohousing promises benefits for older people, but identified financial and planning barriers. In contrast, focus groups with older people found significant resistance to the concept of shared living; many participants did not see value in cohousing. Resistance stemmed from negative associations with cohousing and cultural lack of familiarity with shared living arrangements. Cohousing has an image problem in Australia that needs to be overcome if it is to thrive.