Process for joining Coquitlam Cohousing

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Getting involved with this project eventually leads to home ownership in the Coquitlam Cohousing.  The process to become a future resident is:

  • ask us questions, by email and Facebook Messenger along the way.
  • learn about the project by reading this web site and coming to a site tour, potluck or joining a zoom call.
  • get curious about cohousing by reading and check out other communities by getting a tour or reading their websites.
  • meet some of the members in this project by reading their bios, chatting with folks at a site tour, or another social event. (You can send us your bio and that way other folks can meet you).

These will lead you will develop a sense of whether this is something you wish to explore further.

In cohousing projects, some people like to join at the start and be part of designing the project while others prefer to join near the end when the design is complete and the final designs and prices are known.

Once you are feeling ready, the next step is to sign up for a design workshop. Paying the fee for the workshop entitles you to participate in design as a community member, and the order in which people pay for their first workshop is also the order in which they select units as a little extra bonus.

We have a group to 7 households who have invested $50,000+ towards the project and bought the 3 acre site at 5180 Universal Place, Nanaimo.

At this point, we are accepting equity contributions from new members as the architectural and construction plans. 

Fees paid for workshops will count as part of your investment, if you decide to proceed.

Our ultimate goal is a minimum of 50% of units occupied by families and folks under 60, to create a multi-generational community.  

To sign up for one of the workshops, send an e-transfer with the workshop name in the message to and we will send you the full details. If e-transfer is not convenient for you, can email us to make other arrangements.

Raw land site tours – Sundays at 3 PM except when we have a workshop, drop by 5180 Universal Place, Nanaimo. RSVP to 

Weekly Potluck – Sundays at 6:30pm – barbeque / potluck at Pacific Gardens, a relaxing meal, have fun! 347 Seventh St. Bring something to share and/or something to grill. May include a tour of Pacific Gardens if folks are interested, or a discussion after dinner. We will be outdoors as much as possible, weather permitting. Walk around the building, through the gate and access the potluck through the huge patio or buzz 205 on the enterphone.  RSVP to

Learn About Multi-Generational Cohousing Calls – Every second Tuesday at 5pm Pacific time. July 12 and 26, August 9 and 23. RSVP to : We all have different ideas of what cohousing is all about. We will share stories and photos from other cohousings. Meeting ID: 941 7883 6493 Passcode: 618953

Common House Design – $300 July 16 and 17
Determine what will go into shared spaces, which are the heart of the community.RSVP to

Home Design – $300 August 27 and 28

$300 per household, or $100 for families with children.  For simplicity reasons we are not building custom homes, so here we will determine the shared goals for the homes to guide the architect. RSVP to

Design Completion – $300  September TBC
Completed design is presented and reviewed and opportunity is given for final changes. RSVP to

Later, we will have other workshops to decide on the features of the homes, aspects of the management.

Note: In the event that you decide to purchase a home in the project, we credit all these fees to your unit price.

We will setup a meeting soon. If you are interested and want to learn more please register  below.

Cohousing is a...



A core value of cohousing is environmental sustainability. This is reflected in preserved open space, in utilizing green building materials and techniques, minimizing the intrusion of cars, and the prevalence of community renewable energy systems. The sense of community created in these neighborhoods is the secret ingredient of sustainability, enabling people to have a collective impact, being good stewards together with their neighbors. Such a lively neighborhood means residents can socialize close to home, and parents can reduce the endless back-and-forth of shuttling their kids to playdates.




Cohousing communities are recognized by certain design features, layered over a strong social fabric. A big benefit of cohousing stems from the sharing of culture bolstered by generous common amenities. Cohousing features a common house (the heart of the community, with a large kitchen, dining area, guest rooms and more), and perhaps a shared garden, workshop, yoga room, pool or kids room. Communities are generally 20-40 homes, designed and self-managed by residents. The result is people-focused, with cars kept on the periphery and buildings grouped to leave green space for all to enjoy.




Financing is undertaken by the future residents, who act as “owner-developers” and provide the capital to fund the design costs and property purchase. Yet there’s nothing to fear when it comes to acquiring loans; in fact, Fannie Mae has language in its FAQ’s specifying that cohousing homes qualify for loans just as any other condominium development would. The project is built by means of a bank construction loan, paid off as individual residents obtain mortgages. Since residents buy-in to their neighborhood early on, turnover tends to be low.




Ever been ready to bake a cake and realized you’re one stick of butter short, meaning a 20-minute drive to the store? In cohousing, your neighbor will probably have both butter and some baking advice. Cohousing is carefully designed to create a socially rich and interconnected community, a true “neighborhood” in the old-fashioned sense of the word. However, residents do not have a shared economy or a common set of beliefs. Individual homes have all the traditional amenities including private kitchens, yet most communities are proud to offer resident-cooked dinner rotations in the common house several times a week.




“Eyes on the Street” are the best security system you can have. Living in a community where everyone is a familiar face provides an extra layer of safety. Children can run freely and knock on their playmates’ doors, gaining a unique level of independence and trust with neighbors. Even in large cities, cohousing experiences little crime and offers safe and supportive living. 


Source: The Good Trade, written by Mary Claus, link to article

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