ESRC Seminar Series: Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience

Welcome to Collaborative Housing and Community Resilience, a knowledge exchange ESRC sponsored seminar series.


This seminar series reflects collaboration between the UK Cohousing Network and six UK universities; Lancaster, Leeds, London School of Economics, Newcastle (principal applicant), Nottingham, and Sheffield involving a seven-strong steering group:


Expertise of our Associate Members

This year we are recruiting Associate Members to UKCN.  These members have knowledge and skills that cohousing groups may be seeking and have agreed to have their various talents made public on this website.  UKCN is neither recommending nor not recommending but giving you access to people who probably can help you out.


What is cohousing?

Springhill cohousing in Stroud

Cohousing is a way of living which brings individuals and families together in groups to share common aims and activities while also enjoying their own self-contained accommodation and personal space.

Cohousing communities are a means of compensating for the alienating effects of modern life where neighbours don't recognise each other and where day-to-day collaboration is minimal. They offer particular benefits for children in terms of secure play-space and shared activities with their peers. Older people can also find companionship and mutual support in such communities.

The main features of cohousing communities are:

  • They are set up and run by their members for mutual benefit
  • Members are consciously committed to living as a community
  • Developments are designed to encourage social contact and a sense of neighbourhood among members.
  • Common space facilitates shared activities like community meals and other amenities like laundries, heating systems, guest rooms, transport, etc may be shared

Cohousing in the UK

There is a rapidly-growing UK interest in cohousing - take a look at our map of UK projects. There are an increasing number of groups seeking sites and many individuals seeking a group to join. There are ten fully-established cohousing communities in the UK, some having started up in the late 60s and established by 1970 before the word 'cohousing' was in use: Postlip in the Cotswolds, the Community Project, in Laughton near Lewes, Thundercliffe Grange near Rotherham, Trelay Farm in Cornwall, Canon Frome in Wiltshire, Springhill in Stroud, and the Threshold Centre in Dorset. Smaller cohousing schemes include Stroud Co-flats, Frankleigh co-flats and The Courtyards near Bradford upon Avon. All are based on owner-occupation, although the Stroud community has three shared ownership units. It is difficult to pin down the exact number of groups as they are constantly in flux. We estimate there are 25 - 30 forming groups currently functioning, with another tier of up to 60 loose coalitions interested in cohousing.

To find out more:

The UK Cohousing Network website is a repository of information from many people. When reading an article, note whether it has an author beneath the title. If it does, that piece is the author's own views. This site hopes to encourage the sharing of as many viewpoints as possible so we can support each other in developing cohousing. But note that only un-named articles can be attributed to the UK Cohousing Network.

Springhill photo © Alexander Caminada.

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Flats for sale at CoFlats Stroud

The third Coflats project is almost finished, it's looking good and the common house is being fitted out now. Completion is due in April. More details about plot sizes, prices, the common house and how to join are all on the Coflats website. 


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Help promote cohousing at Greenbelt Arts Festival

Bill Phelps from Chapeltown Cohousing is asking for help at Greenbelt Arts Festival.

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Vivarium finds a site!

Vivarium has a site for its Pilot Project at last.


Campion Homes have negotiated the purchase of Trynmuir which lies between Cupar, a market town, and Cuparmuir, a hamlet.

It is a sloping field with a walled garden to the south edge.

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How to live my life for the next 30 years? A blog by Loco members

As children leave home and retirement looms the conversation turns more and more around what to do with our lives. Leaving aside becoming a globally recognised artist or my partner becoming a selflessly dedicated leader of worthy causes, the first realistic thought is moving abroad. On a dreary London day, La Provence’s blue sky is attractive. It is an excellent subject of day dreaming while commuting but the vision of oneself, 35 years later, victim of an unfavourable exchange rate, unable to pay health insurance bills, in a house we cannot sell, strikes me as a nightmare scenario.

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New resources available

There are lots of new resources on LILAC's journey now available to download below. 

The Big Conversation

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We are seeking your thoughts about what the Cohousing Network does and what we offer.

To kickstart the 'Big Conversation' with cohousing supporters and members, we have put together a survey.

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Bridport December Update

A lot has happened for Bridport cohousing group since the summer. We presented our plans to the planners in August, but as we had previously had extensive dialogue with them, our application held no surprises. We are hopeful for a response to our application by 17th December, but the indications are that, because of the pressure on the section caused by funding cuts, it could be February before we hear.

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