Enormously good news today from the Older Women’s Cohousing Group, which for years and years (and still yet more years) has been battling away to try to turn their vision of a self-managing housing community into reality. It has been a truly epic initiative, and – against what seemed so often to be heavily stacked odds – the story ends this week in success, as 26 women in the group, aged 50-87, take possession of a block of twenty-five newly built flats in Union Street, High Barnet, north London.
Cohousing is a growing movement, and one which I think has great potential for the baby-boomer generation as it tries to find housing solutions in older age which don’t involve the commercial imperatives of companies such as McCarthy and Stone. The Barnet cohousing community (based, it says here, on “shared values of neighbourliness and mutual support”) includes a mix of home-owners and social renters. They add that they “want to act as a demonstration project to encourage other older people to plan their later lives and develop similar initiatives”.