Obama Economy Spurs Increase in 'Cohousing' Trend

Obama Economy Spurs Increase in 'Cohousing' Trend

Adults struggling to survive in the Obama economy are now signing up for so-called “cooperative households” as a cost-cutting tactic. 

A CBS 2 New York report by Dana Tyler titled “Desperate Roommates” highlighted the trend wherein “total strangers desperate to save money are moving in together.”

The practice is on the rise. “Two million Americans over the age of 30 now live with a housemate or roommate, and shared households make up 18 percent of U.S. households–a 17 percent increase since 2007,” reports Tyler.

According to the Cohousing Association of the United States website, “Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods. Cohousing residents are consciously committed to living as a community.”

“Shared home” or “co-housing” arrangements typically involve either smaller homes built around a common building or a standing unit with separate rooms and a shared common area, such as a kitchen or living room.

Communal living may help residents pinch pennies in a down economy, but experts warn the practice is not without its risks.

“You need to know that people are solid about paying, that they’re going to be a reasonable person to be around,” says shared housing expert Annamarie Pluhar.