By Judy Shepalo, Co-Leader of Hamilton Aging in Community and member of Cohousing Hamilton. Contact: [email protected]

Think Golden Girls where four women had their own bedroom and bathroom but shared the rest of the house. Co-ownership can be shared common space such as a kitchen and other living spaces but it can also be in the form of entirely private independent units. In many cases, a house is purchased by individuals and then renovated to meet their needs. The emphasis is on relationships and social connections along with security, mutual support, interdependence, independence and a more affordable lifestyle. Co-ownership is suitable for all ages, men and women, seniors living together or multigenerational. It helps mitigate loneliness and isolation and is an excellent option for effectively aging in place.

What it is:

The purchase of a home by two or more people who are willing to work together to develop a plan, share space and resources and tailor what it all looks like to meet their needs:

  1. They purchase the home together and share the equity and expenses
  2. They live in the home and share some of the space

Golden Girls Co-Ownership in Port Perry, Ontario

Why choose co-ownership?

  • An alternative home environment that fosters collective care and support
  • Fosters interdependency and helps break cultures of isolation allowing like-minded groups – friends, family, LGBTQ, artists, seniors, intergenerational – to live more sustainably and imagine and invest in futures together
  • Sense of security that comes from living in community
  • Affordability by combining resources, leveraging and splitting the financial burdens of home ownership
  • Shared resources such as child care, elder care, pet care or living assistance
  • Shifts away from individualized, rights-based framework to a focus on collective wellbeing
  • Assigning equity, developing a house agreement and creating a legal contract isall part of co-ownership
  • Allows you to stay in a community of your choice

While a legal home sharing agreement sets out rules, expectations and boundaries, it’s friendship, shared values, communication and flexibility that will ultimately create a harmonious family-style home.

For more information (click the links below):


Co-ownership event in Toronto

Provincial guide to Co-ownership