UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Motivation for the cohousing community : a study of two groups Jeske, Marilyn Ruth


Cohousing is a Danish model of collaborative housing that seeks to achieve a balance between privacy and community. It is characterized by an intentional neighborhood design, extensive common facilities, a participatory development process, and complete resident management. This exploratory study examined the motivation of members from two pioneer groups, one American and one Canadian, each involved in developing cohousing communities. Ten in—depth interviews were conducted with group members to study their motives for involvement in the cohousing projects. Respondents indicated that they wanted a greater experience of community which was supportive and a safe and enriched environment for their children. In their desire for challenge, they experienced personal growth and fulfillment through the process of making decisions by consensus. The respondents had affiliation motives that were consistent with motivational theory. Findings also suggest that the model has a strong potential for developing supportive networks for families and individuals. This study is relevant for community practice of social work because it provides a housing alternative that focuses on community. It serves as a starting point for discussion about the cohousing model.

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