A rise in cooperative housing in the United States

More American adults are living with strangers in order to make ends meet:

Two million Americans over the age of 30 now live with a housemate or roommate, and shared households make up 18 percent of U.S. households – a 17 percent increase since 2007.

One group of women sold their homes and bought a house together in Mount Lebanon, Pa., after they all got divorced…

McQuillin, Louise Machinist and Karen Bush call their home a “cooperative household.” Each woman has her own bedroom and bathroom, and they share the common areas of the house, chores and expenses…

In some co-housing communities, families buy smaller homes built around a common building that the entire community shares. Some include communal kitchens and recreation space.

There are more than 100 of the special developments across the nation. Some co-housing operations share housework and childcare duties.

This is a different approach than Going Solo – single-person households have been on the rise in the United States for years now. But, living with other people has benefits including economic sharing.

It would be interesting to ask those who are living in cooperative households if they would choose to do so if they had more economic resources. In other words, is money trumping common American concerns about individualism and privacy?

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