CO-LIVING is a modern form of shared housing for like-minded people to live, work and socialise. It is seen as a response to the housing issues facing many younger people today; namely high rents, poor standard or lack of one-bedroom accommodation and social isolation.

CO-LIVING, is a form of housing which combines private living spaces with shared communal facilities. The concept of COLIVING is to create a community-centred environment that not only gives privacy in living arrangements but also promotes
social contact by providing the type of social spaces valued by younger people through shared kitchens, dining and relaxation areas.

One bed homes are rarely built in rural areas as typically they are as part of flatted developments which are seen as more suitable for urban areas. This leaves many young (or older) single people in the position of having to move to away from their support network in order to find somewhere affordable to live.

In rural areas, however, CO-LIVING schemes could take the form of a large shared house rather than flats, which is better suited to need and location. Residents would not have to pay for tenancy agreements and deposits and the scheme will be
fully furnished including white goods.

CO-LIVING developments could also be targeted at people in their later life, who are downsizing and who would welcome the combination of private accommodation and being part of a community.

The Older Women’s Co-Housing project (Owch) in London, has built a collection of 25 flats, all occupied by women over the age of 50. They are committed to participating in a community that shares space, resources and mutual support, catering imaginatively for the older generation.

The Issues

  • Home ownership levels have fallen dramatically among the younger generation over the past 30 years due to high house price to incomes.
  • The need for deposits and one months’ rent in advance, along with removal costs, make it very difficult for many young people to find an appropriate private rented home, especially in rural areas.
  • The mobile nature of employment today can also be an issue in terms of securing affordable, good quality accommodation and can impact on social wellbeing in terms of social isolation. A recent national survey found that 16 to 34 year olds report feeling more lonely than older generations.
  • The Co-living sector is still in its infancy here in the UK, however there is growing momentum behind the sector and an increasing amount of interest from prospective residents who are struggling to find affordable accommodation.

How does Co-living work?


Homes funded by institutional investors.


The homes are new build and can take the form of a large shared house or flats dependent upon the identified need and location i.e. town or countryside. Typically, they would form part of a community led development to meet local needs.


Tenants can rent a room/studio with private facilities and also have access to communal areas such as kitchen, dining and relaxing space. The monthly rent usually includes a host of facilities such as cleaning, Wi-Fi, maintenance, utility bills and all the furnishings.
Local connection can be applied. Residents have the flexibility to stay for as long or little as they need.

Upfront costs:

Tenants don’t need to find deposits or rent in advance. Homes are fully furnished including white goods. Co-living spaces are ideal for people who are looking for complete flexibility and homes that are fully furnished, serviced and managed.

How will Co-living assist LAs and NPGs?

  • Helps deliver homes with the physical and emotional wellbeing needs of young people at the forefront in line with housing strategy priorities.
  • Encourages community-based solutions to meeting local needs by assisting parishes and Neighbourhood Planning Groups to identify where there is a housing need and how best to meet it.
  • Provides funded solutions to the lack of I bed accommodation available to local single people in rural areas.