On the slopes of the mountain in Hobart, Tasmania, a small cohousing project was completed in 2000 for low-income Tasmanians. The project was funded by the Australian Government, under the Community Housing Project scheme.
Organised as a housing cooperative, residents underwrite their non-equity housing with both a residency subscription (rent) and contributed services. All aspects of the organisation are managed by the members and residents themselves, via several committees.
The Cohousing Co-operative has eight goals:
1. Secure and stable support for our children’s needs and growth.
2. A mature group of adults who have and are learning group living skills.
3. A valued, diverse, productive recreational landscape.
4. A safe, secure, and friendly neighbourhood and community.
5. Environmental integrity and sustainable energy practices.
6. Creating, fostering, and mentoring cohousing cooperatives.
7. An autonomous cooperative that engages the wider community.
8. Physical structures that meet the requirements of residents.
This cohousing is particularly unusual for lots of reasons. It is very small (only 13 houses, including the common house), it is government funded, and it is a cooperative as well as cohousing. Despite (or perhaps because of) these features, the community is close-knit, effective, and can be rather intense.
Common meals are held twice a week, site meetings are held fortnightly, and various celebrations and social events happen whenever they happen.
It is a particularly excellent environment for children, with a large, safe outdoor play area backing onto the bush, good communication between parents, and plenty of things to do.