The Co:Here Story: From church parking lot to affordable housing
Designed for Community & Connection
Entering on the main level, the layout invites shared living through community spaces including a large kitchen, dining room, living room and meditation space. A courtyard and community garden provide outdoor space and garden area for residents to grow their own fresh food.
26 Self-contained Units
On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors, suites are organized in two pod-like groups where abundant natural light is provided in seating areas set next to urban porches. Each studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom unit is self-contained and provides tenants with a kitchen and all the necessities of private, healthy, and comfortable living. In total, there are 18 studio apartments, 4 one bedroom apartments, and 4 two bedroom apartments.
Co:Here’s residents come from a diversity of backgrounds. All have roots in the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood and a desire to be good neighbours to one another. Co:Here’s operating model depends on an income mix and therefore Co:Here Residents come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. All residents move in with a understanding and desire to build community with people who are different than themselves. Co:Here is affordable housing that provides not only a home, but the opportunity to belong to a community. The residents are committed to participating and collective decision-making in community life.
- To provide economically sustainable housing for people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness in the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood.
- To create a community that fosters mutual support and the common good among a socio-economically diverse group of residents.
- To provide housing committed to the reduction of negative environmental impact.
- To offer a prototype of an alternative, refreshing model of socially sustainable affordable housing.
Addressing housing needs and belonging needs at the same time
Affordable housing is well-known as one of the biggest challenges facing the homeless and those at-risk-of-homelessness in Vancouver today. However, significant issues that are often overlooked are the feelings of loneliness and isolation that go hand-in-hand with homelessness and poverty. Isolation has been called the hallmark of North American urban poverty and is a problem that cannot be solved by simply putting a roof over someone’s head.
Co:Here aims to create a community that fosters resident-led mutual support among a socio-economically diverse group of residents. This is achieved through rhythms of life in communal spaces that seek to foster a sense of belonging, community, friendship, and a shared stewardship of the building. Rhythms include community dinners, community work days, and shared decision making.
Co:Here Housing is committed to the reduction of negative environmental impact. This is achieved through thoughtful use of energy, space, and design, and adherence to LEED Gold standards as part of our vision to care for the environment in our construction and in sustainable ongoing building operations.
Application Process & Tenant Selection
Salsbury Community Society oversees the application process and tenant selection and facilitates the shaping, fostering and sustaining spirit of the community. All tenants selected actively participate in and contributes to this unique vision. Please visit Salsbury’s website (salsbury.ca) or contact Salsbury by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Co:Here is home for me. It's a place where we live together and care about one another. It can be a lot of work but it's been worth it every time!Co:Here Resident
One afternoon our 7 year old son and 9 year old housemate played in a neighbourhood park. Someone asked them whether they were siblings. Our housemate replied, “No…well, we live together and we’re like family, well, … we love each other.”Neufelds
We tried to construct a dynamic of “family” and community sharing and care within and against a culture of relentless individualism.Dave