Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?
Personalized health management, Independent living solutions, Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering), Age friendly buildings, environments, and communities.
If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.
BiG formulated the ideas for a cohousing with private flats, common spaces and collaboration instead of service. The model is tested in more than 40 projects built since 1980. Almost all initiatives have been taken by local groups, often in collaboration with a housing company or a cooperative organisation.
Members of BiG has since visited every existing cohouse and learnt from their experiences (published in the research report "15 kollektivhus/15 collective houses").
The cohouse "Färdknäppen" is based on this model, but adapted to the needs of seniors and old people by the initiative group and continuously developed by all tenants living at Färdknäppen.
The association Framtiden was initiated by Färdknäppen to forward more senior cohouses in the Stockholm region. Up till today, two senior cohouses have been built in cooperation between Framtiden and the municipal housing company AB Familjebostäder and a third, multigenerational, is on its way.
Kollektivhus NU is the national umbrella org spreading ideas of cohousing.
The idea of collaborative housing is based on cooperation, sharing of spaces and equipment and joint decision-making and user participation is a cornerstone
Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.
The idea of senior cohousing has resulted in 11 projects all over Sweden; Stockholm, Falun, Norrtälje, Göteborg, Mölndal, Lund och Malmö. Local groups have taken initiatives to build a new senior cohouse or adapt an existing building. The outcome in all projects have been successful.
It took six years from the first initiative group started to the finalization of Färdknäppen when people moved in. This process has given knowledge on how to speed up the process for later groups, used in the writing of the handbook. The time factor is important, especially for seniors.
A recent study in Denmark of senior cohousing, "Det store eksperiment. Hverdagsliv i seniorbofaelleskaberne/The big experiment. Every day life in senior cohousing" shows the same. The researcher Max Pedersen has made interviews, study visists and questionnaires and he describes senior cohousing as a great sucess for the tenants. He also says that the implementation of the ideas in municipalities and housing companies is problematic due to lack of understanding, not seeing the gain for society and unwillingness to enter into new fields.
One could say cohousing is difficult to establish but worth the effort!
What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?
The first barrier is lack of knowledge, among seniors but also in the housing and care sector as well as in the finance sector. Our handbook and all information work the network engages in is a way to spread knowledge widely.
The handbook can be used by groups who want to create senior cohousing, and by the housing sector, municipalities and consultants. It provides knowledge and inspiration regarding design and implementation. It gives suggestions for group project time-plans, including key milestones, risks and opportunities. Emphasis is on social content and the shared spaces. Fourteen existing senior housing communities are also described from different aspects.
The handbook helps starting groups to work collaboratively to create their living, based on their own needs, wishes and dreams. A range of new options and models will thus be able to develop.
The second barrier is high constructions cost´s and high rents, making it difficult for most pensioners to move to newly built flats. This is a political problem and must be solved through political decisions. But the more initiative groups are forming, the more the pressure will grow for political solutions.