Planning progress for Scotland’s first seniors’ cohousing project
Scotland’s first ever cohousing project for the over 55s has taken a step closer to bricks, mortar and build this week. Plans for the 24 flat property, designed specifically to support independent living for older people, will be submitted to Glasgow City Council’s planning committee for approval in May.
The Penington CoHousing not-for-profit project, a first for Scotland, will be built in Glasgow’s Pollokshields area, and will provide 24 one and two bedroom flats and a large shared community living space for individuals and couples aged 55 and over.
Working alongside jmarchitects and Southside Housing Association, Penington CoHousing’s Pollokshields project has been carefully designed to match the needs of older residents. Incorporating full wheelchair and mobility scooter accessibility, the plans provide age-sensitive LifeTime Living design features such as wet rooms, hip height power points and low maintenance gardens. The project build is also designed to a strict environmental and energy efficient brief which ensures warm homes with lower bills for older residents.
By providing private flats plus a generously-sized central communal shared space where residents may meet, eat and socialise together, Penington CoHousing believes the project offers a residential model for older people ideally suited to combat to the isolation and loneliness experienced by so many of Scotland’s seniors.
Founder member Ann MacInnes explains, “The beauty of Penington Cohousing is that we will live independently, with company when we want it. We will all share the responsibility and the costs of running our own homes, and will look out for each other too. With the project we are aiming to establish a thriving, mutually supportive community of seniors, a community which shares both decision-making and tasks, according to skills and ability. For us, this is the beginning of a marvellous independent living movement for oldies.”
Penington CoHousing continues to actively recruit new members aged 55+ to join this exciting and innovative new seniors housing community, and the project holds regular public information meetings in Glasgow. The next meeting will be held in the cafe of Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 14 May, and further dates will be announced on the project website www.pencohousing.org.uk
With their membership drive in full swing, and their plans now off the drawing board and into the planning system, it seems that Penington CoHousing’s dreams of independent living in old age are about to be set in stone.
For further information, or to request an interview, please contact:
Ann MacInnes, Director of Penington CoHousing
Mob. 07962 264152
Tel. 01236 750752
Find out more about Penington CoHousing:-
****Notes for editors****
The cohousing concept follows a community housing model pioneered in Denmark, where space, care and responsibility are shared by all the residents.
The Penington CoHousing Pollokshields property will be designed and built to an ecologically sound and environmentally friendly brief, and will incorporate Lifetime Living standards.
Penington CoHousing seek members aged 55+ to join the project, and anticipate that at least 50% of the property’s flats will be for sale, and the remainder available for rent (the latter option to be supported by Southside Housing Association).
The project requires each member to contribute between 2-4 hours of community work per week, according to ability.
What is Cohousing?
Cohousing communities are intentional communities, created and run by their residents. Each household has a self-contained, personal and private home but residents come together to manage their community, share activities, eat together. Cohousing is a way of combating the alienation and isolation many experience today, recreating the neighbourly support of the past. This can happen anywhere, in your street or starting a new community using empty homes or building new. Cohousing communities are often formed on a basis a principles and priorities, such as:
• The initial residents in the group contribute significantly to the design of the cohousing community and take an active role in creating the community.
• Where possible, design is used to encourage social interaction, for example by keeping cars to the periphery and putting a common house in centre of the site. However this tends to be easier with a new build rather than a conversion or in an existing street.
• Most cohousing communities have a common house, with shared facilities such as cooking and dining spaces, meeting and playing areas, laundries and guest rooms. Shared outside space for childrens’ play, parties and food growing can feature in a cohousing project.
• Residents manage their own community, looking after the maintenance and development of it, running the finances, tending the gardens, organising shared activities. Many communities eat together regularly.
• The community is governed in a non hierarchical way. All adult residents are encouraged or expected to take part in decision making. Some communities also require residents to undertake a set number of hours work for the community.
• Communities do not usually have a shared economy. They may raise money from renting their facilities to others or by running courses but they do not usually expect residents to rely on the community to provide them with a source of income.