Cohousing Concept Helps to Make Homes More Affordable and Reduce Operating Costs
Cohabitat Québec is a unique project located in the Saint-Sacrement district of downtown Québec City. The 42–unit project was built according to “cohousing,” principals. In a cohousing project, residents share common spaces, which, in turn helps to reduce the costs associated with owning and operating a home. A community house is available to all residents, and is equipped with amenities such as a large kitchen and dining room, a playroom, guest rooms, laundry room, lawn and gardening equipment and a workshop for do-it-yourselfers.
“This project is affordable, as the units are priced below the average market price. This allows us to offer the residents homes at an affordable cost for downtown Québec,” said Guillaume Pinson, member-owner.
CMHC provided Seed and Proposal Development Funding to help cover some of the costs incurred in the early stages of the development. ”We needed to convince financial partners to get involved with us. Thanks to the kick-start that we got from CMHC, we were able to develop the financial and architectural frameworks of the project, come up with a business plan and approach key partners with credibility,” said Pinson.
Cohabitat Quebec brings together people of all ages: retirees, young families with children, single-parent families and professionals with no children. “The intergenerational aspect of the project also allows everyone to engage with one another, to mutually enrich one another’s lives,” added resident Jean-Yves Fréchette.
Since the official opening in June 2013, Cohabitat has obtained both Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® Platinum and Novoclimat certifications. Close to 75 per cent of the site was preserved as green space, and the large mature trees were incorporated into the development plan.