What is retrofit cohousing?
Some people who wish to live in cohousing neighborhoods find creative ways to transform existing blocks of homes into what is commonly called “retrofit cohousing.”
Particularly in urban areas, where new construction is expensive and building sites are few, retrofit cohousing offers an alternative to typical cohousing communities in the U.S., which are built from the ground up.
Retrofit cohousing neighborhoods differ from traditional ones because residents start with a few existing homes on a block, and then find innovative ways to adapt the houses, alleys, backyards and courtyards to make them more pedestrian-friendly and community-oriented. By nature, every retrofit neighborhood is unique, and each community has its own timetable, depending upon financial resources, availability of adjacent properties and the buy-in of neighbors. For example, a retrofit cohousing neighborhood might share common meals in each other’s kitchens for several years as they build up the financial resources needed to build a common house.
Read about Temescal Creek Cohousing, a retrofit community on the fast track.
Learn more about the retrofit process.