Frequently Asked Questions

Where will this community be located?
We don't have a site yet, because we don't yet have enough members to invest in a land purchase. What we do know is that we want the community to be located centrally, within five kilometres of Winnipeg's downtown, close to amenities and bus routes. 
When will it be built?
Establishing a cohousing community is not a quick process.  We expect it to take a few years.  We cannot acquire land or start building until we have a solid membership base.  The sooner we have this, the sooner we can start planning the actual physical community.  So if you want this to happen sooner rather than later, get involved!
 
Will this be a co-op?
No.  Although it is possible for a cohousing community to be structured like a cooperative, our members have opted instead for the condominium model.  Manitoba law stipulates that residents of a co-op cannot own their own homes.  When the owner doesn't own the title to the unit, it is more difficult to get financing.  Financial institutions are more familiar with the condominium structure and this makes it much easier to get a mortgage.  
 
How much will it cost?
It's too early to set a quote a dollar amount, because there are too many variables in play.  However, there is a possibility that the units will cost slightly more than equivalent homes because we hope to build to passive house standards.  Although the upfront cost might be a bit higher, one needs to keep in mind that energy and maintenance costs after move-in will be significantly lower than regular housing, so this home will eventually end up costing less than a regular home.
I don't have that kind of money.  Will there be units for rent ?
We understand that the purchase price might be prohibitive for some people, and that's unfortunate.  For the moment, there are no rental units in our plans.  Although not a usual part of the cohousing model, rental units do sometimes become available in special circumstances. 
 
What will a unit's resale value be?
Obviously, our group has no personal experience with the resale of cohousing units.  However, other cohousing groups report that units maintain their value and in many instances, increase in value.  Many communities have waiting lists of people wanting to purchase a unit if one becomes available.  According to the Canadian Cohousing Network,  "Market demand supports value. Experience has shown that cohousing communities have excellent resale value. People are willing to pay for the added quality and community benefits." 
 
What type of building(s) will this be?
A cohousing community can be built around any type of housing:  stand-alone homes, apartments, townhouses, etc.  However, because we want to be in a somewhat central location, we don't expect to be able to build stand-alone homes.  Depending on factors like the number of members and the size of the land we buy, our units will probably be either apartments, townhouses, or a combination of the two.  These will be smaller than conventional homes, as common spaces will supplement a household's private spaces, with things like a common dining room, workshop, playroom, laundry, guest rooms, and the like.  (Please note that no decisions have as yet been made regarding the particular common spaces we will have.  Get on board and have a say in these matters!)
I'm only interested if             fill in the blank           .  Will this be possible?
We understand that considerations about pets, location, and lifestyle preferences will affect your decision of getting involved or not.  The good news is that many of these decisions haven't yet been made. That's why you should consider getting involved sooner rather than later, to have a voice in the decision-making process.    
Will there be any staff?
Once the community is built, we don't anticipate hiring any staff.  The idea behind cohousing is that the members contribute their time and abilities to do whatever needs to be done, be it cleaning, maintenance, repairs, preparing common meals, or whatever else.  This may be done on regularly scheduled days, as the need arises, or organized otherwise by a committee.  
I'm interested.  How do I get involved?  
We thought you'd never ask!  Start by contacting us or attending the next event.  You should also add your name to our mailing list, to be sure you don't miss any important events.  See our membership page for more information about the different types of membership.
We need new members to help us with a variety of jobs.  Do you have legal or website experience?  Any financial know-how?  Are you into social media?  Do you have experience dealing with traditional medias or researching and writing grant applications?  Maybe you have some secretarial, editorial, or blogging skills? Would you be willing to put up posters or hand out pamphlets?  We don't expect anyone to take on all of these responsibilities, but we would appreciate it if they could help out with one or two of them.  There is so much to do and we are currently only a small handful of members.  Please consider getting involved and helping out.  Cohousing is a beautiful dream, but it can only become a reality if more people get behind it.  
Contact us.

Telephone :  204-488-0875

Email :  info@prairieriverscohousing.com

Winnipeg, Manitoba

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