Information about the Cohousing Development in Golden Bay
Mohua Ventures Ltd has put down the deposit on 14.5 hectares of residential land in Takaka, Golden Bay with a view to create a different kind of housing to the conventional subdivision. Tiny Lifestyle and Mohua Ventures are closely linked but separate companies with the same vision of treading lightly on the Earth and together we are developing ways to weave these ideas into being.
We are right at the beginning of this journey exploring many possibilities and models around housing, investment and financing to create the best fit for Golden Bay. As it is such a large piece of land there may be several different housing models used to accommodate a variety of needs and desires. Creating affordable housing is important to us, we still need to define how much of the development will be affordable and what ‘affordable’ looks like. We are exploring options and partnerships to help manifest this possibility including community mortgages and rent to own options but it is a complex process.
One of the models we are excited about is Cohousing which means different things to different people. Ultimately, it is ‘intentional clustered private dwellings with shared facilities and neighbourhood life’ and it can take several different forms - it is like the bridge between a conventional subdivision and an intentional community.
There are at least 2 variations we are exploring: One is where people own their house and the land immediately around it (maybe 6m in front and 8m behind) and they also own a share of the common house and communal outside areas. This could include a large multifunction room, spare bedroom, large commercial kitchen, playground, gardens, orchard and lawn area. Or they own their house, a share of the common house and grounds and lease the land from the land- holding company. This second option could be a more affordable one as the subdivision process is expensive, where we could implement a license to occupy option or apply different models of ownership.
As part of our data collection phase we have been to visit Earthsong Eco Neighbourhood a Cohousing neighbourhood in Auckland which was set up over 20 years ago. It was incredibly inspiring to walk around such an established development and be able to talk to some of the main initiators of the project, Robin Allison and Cathy Angell, to pick their brains on the systems and models they used. They have recorded all of their resources around their processes on their website for others to use.
Charles Durrett coined the phrase Cohousing more than 30 years ago and has been involved in 70+ developments mostly in the USA but also around the world. We are taking inspiration from his books especially around the cohousing principals.
For more information about cohousing developments in NZ have a look at the Cohousing NZ website. The High Street Cohousing Project in Dunedin is also very interesting.
We are also looking into Permaculture design for the whole development using the principals to position the buildings and outside spaces for the best use of the natural environment including sun, shade, wind and natural flow of the land. We are working closely with Robina McCurdy, who founded the Institute of Earthcare Education Aotearoa and lives here in Golden Bay, and various others to develop these designs. Earthsong is also founded on Permaculture principles.
To reiterate, we are just starting this process and welcome people's interest and involvement. We will be holding information evenings as we move through the process to keep investors, potential homeowners and locals up to date with our progress and provide a space for interaction and review.
If you are interested in investing or living in our development, please get in touch: hello@tiny lifestyle.co.nz