This section of the site focuses on the resources we are producing to support funding applications and evaluate what we are doing. As such, they may be helpful if you want to explore cohousing, or set up a project. We will add further items as we go along.

All projects have their own characteristics. Ours is defined by a focus on the needs of older people plus our wish to create affordable rental homes as a lasting community benefit. We also live in Orkney, and like many other community initiatives in the Highlands and Islands, we have to deal with problems arising from our remote location and a chronic shortage of appropriate housing. 

The five phases – and funding gaps – in community-led housing/cohousing projects

This document sets out on one page the various tasks involved in a community-led housing/cohousing build. It was produced so that potential funders could understand what stage we are at in the project – and the funding gaps faced. [Project phases and funding gaps]

The project timeline

We developed another one-page document as we were asked by a funder to produce a timeline. As we worked on the diagram we began to appreciate how it could help improve their understanding of our project. Some new to cohousing might be surprised at the amount of work involved in a scheme like ours, and that it takes five or more years to get to the point when people can move in. [Hope Cohousing timeline]

Our project aims – and some of the problems we face 

When talking to other groups and agencies – and to people interested in what we are doing – it has been helpful to provide them with a short (two-sided) briefing document. [Hope Cohousing briefing]

Why cohousing is good for people and communities – the evidence

Every so often we get asked to back up our claims concerning the contribution cohousing can make to individual wellbeing and community life. Thankfully, over the last five years or so, researchers have found strong evidence to support four key claims. These are that cohousing:

  • reduces social isolation and loneliness.
  • fosters agency, mutual aid, and wellbeing.
  • adds to the supply of affordable housing.
  • strengthens community life and sense of place.

You can view our discussion of this research with live links to key reports – Why cohousing is good for people and communities – the evidence – or download a pdf version.

Watch our video

rural housing conference video

Made for the Rural Housing Summit 2021, it tells our story in 3 minutes. [Click to view]

Things have moved on since we help make the video. We have six rather than five houses, and a covered walkway rather than an internal street. Thankfully, with help from the Rural Communities in Action Fund (Inspiring Scotland/The Scottish Government) and Crown Estates Scotland, we have funding to cover preconstruction activities. In association with the Communities Housing Trust, we are now working to raise money for the build itself. 

updated: December 9, 2022