NelsonNZ Cohousing is off to a strong start. Already established is a board, a large mailing list of interested parties, and committees for the various practical community building tasks. They see these steps as fundamental to the community building process which will carry them through the planning and building stages of the project.
One of NelsonNZ Cohousing’s first jobs is to clearly define their land needs based on their vision, to guide them in choosing suitable land. Nelson is a densely populated city, physically constrained by steep hills and the sea, so ideal land within the city is very scarce - and expensive. This urban area is practical for a cluster of small, affordable homes with some shared facilities in their initiative.
At this stage, NelsonNZ Cohousing envisage the customary common house and shared facilities include craft rooms, workshops, and facilities for children in the project. Gardens are high on the priority list, but being an urban community, they will be on a small scale. The community is more likely to establish strong relationships with the many organic producers and local food markets in the Nelson region.
Resident-owned businesses and energy self-sufficiency as far as possible, are already being considered. As an urban community, transport needs will be minimal.
NelsonNZ Cohousing feel fortunate to be able to draw from the experience of other cohousing projects. They feel that the time is right for broad adoption of cohousing formats, considering the need for genuinely affordable housing around the country.