A novel cohousing project for older women and implications for loneliness

These two online articles draw on research undertaken with OWCH at New Ground (also a Housing LIN case study (opens new window)).

The first provides details about the cohousing scheme in North London and explores how key characteristics that shape the development (such as resident selection, organisational shared values, a focus on social interaction and mutual support, and a mixture of private and shared spaces and facilities) and considers how they may have beneficial effects in alleviating or protecting from loneliness in older people. It found that cohousing may have the potential to promote socialisation and neighbourliness and improve factors affecting loneliness such as helping residents feel valued, useful and part of a community.

The second article (Part 2) builds on the social architecture at New Ground and assesses how the design and the organisational structure of the scheme mitigate against loneliness and isolation. It found that the design of the facilities is vital in promoting social use, engagement and mutual support. For example, the acoustics and size and flow of spaces; how communal spaces support voluntary and planned interactions; and the layout can force unplanned or spontaneous connectivity.