The City of Vancouver is considering a proposal by people in Cedar Cottage, a neighbourhood in East Van, to build a "cohousing" complex where families would share communal space.

The Cedar Cottage Cohousing Corporation, which is made up of a group of residents, has applied to build a 29,587-square-foot complex at East 33rd Avenue and Argyle Street.

It is expected to have 31 housing units where people would share amenities such as a kitchen, laundry room and guest room as a way to reduce the cost of living. There are already three other cohousing projects in Vancouver.

Cohousing is more "affordable, sustainable and social" than other housing, Brenda Birch, who is part of the group, told Metro News Vancouver. She points out that food costs are split within the complex and there are more opportunities for child care because there are simply more like-minded people in the complex.

"You’re joining because you want to have that social connection," she told the paper.

Darryl Griffiths told the Georgia Straight that cohousing functions on a "consensus-based model" where residents design a complex based on common values.

The cohousing model began in Denmark in the late 20th century and first came to North America in 1988. Of the nine cohousing projects in Canada, seven are in B.C.

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