There is not a single state in the U.S. where the minimum wage can sufficiently finance the cost of living in the area. Affordable housing solutions have become the need of the hour but is hindered by multiple hurdles. The answer to this may lie in attainable housing called co-dwelling, which draws ideas from the European model of cohousing
Fremont, CA: The gap between minimum wages and soaring housing costs is increasing day by day and has had a detrimental effect on low-income renters, forcing them into unstable situations. According to reports, there is not a single state in the U.S. where the minimum wage can sufficiently finance the cost of living in the area. Affordable housing solutions have become the need of the hour but is hindered by multiple hurdles. The answer to this may lie in attainable housing called co-dwelling, which draws ideas from the European model of cohousing.
Recent co-living enterprises organize micro units around larger communal areas, primarily targeting single millennials. Co-dwelling is designed with smaller shared kitchens and living areas for suites of up to four bedrooms. It also has provisions for larger communal spaces for the entire building, expanding the set of users to families and multiple generations. The first modern co-living community was built in Denmark in the 1960s to accommodate community cooperation in daily household operations. Since then, co-living projects have explored environmental sustainability, social connectedness, senior living, co-parenting, and much more. Although these models are still relatively experimental, the involved principles and resources provided by co-living have a lot to offer to low-income groups.
Co- dwelling concepts attempt to strike a balance between private and shared spaces by incorporating designs with a shared kitchen and living room. It also promotes social interaction with neighbors while instilling a sense of security using open stairways and interior facing walkways. Shared responsibilities like cooking and cleaning, shared spaces like common laundry rooms, and ground floor studios provide residents ample opportunities to build community, skills, and meaningful connections.
The concept not only aims to connect its dwellers with each other but also with surrounding communities. Also, these are conveniently placed near public transport services, reducing resident transportation expenditures and the need for onsite parking and connecting people to more employment opportunities, better education, goods and services, cultural activities, and entertainment. Co-dwelling is not just economically beneficial, but also a solution to the current trend of isolation. Busy daily life schedules drive the rift between family members. Even in dense metropolitan areas, social media, dependence on personal vehicles, and the postponing of marriage and household creation has led to a culture of isolation.
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