The Swedish National Association Cohousing NOW – in Swedish Kollektivhus NU – is an association working to promote collaborative housing and other alternative ways of living. The association supports existing co-housing units as well as groups intending to create new units. Originally formed in 1981, it has recently been revitalised with the prime purpose to inform the public about cohousing as an alternative, and to influence authorities to facilitate the creation and running of such units.
Kollektivhus NU currently has 41 cohousing units as full members, and 9 organisations working in favour of collaborative housing. There are also a number of individual supporting members.
The just over 40 cohousing units that exist in Sweden are mainly the result of civil society campaigns and positive responses from public housing authorities during the 1980s. They represent a minute fraction of the housing stock. A vast majority of Swedes are unaware of alternatives such as collaborative housing, eco-villages etc. The existing cohousing units are concentrated to the main urban centres.
Today the trend is turning in favour of collaborative housing. In the last five years six new units have been built, and more are on their way. Kollektivhus NU has an active collaboration with SABO – the umbrella organisation Swedish Association of Municipal Housing Companies – and its recent publication "Togetherness and cooperation – to create and live in co-housing units" (so far only in Swedish, co-published with SABO) is increasingly consulted by politicians, housing companies and individuals.
How can elderly people with disabilities get more influence over their housing situation? Is it possible to develop new forms of self-administration like in cohousing? These questions are sorted out in a EU-funded project in which Kollektivhus NU is one of four partners. Read more in Newsletter no 2, which deals with a meeting in South England in July this year.
In May 2010, the first ever International Conference on Collaborative Housing took place in Stockholm, Sweden, attracting 150 participants from no less than 20 countries. Cohousing Now presents a comprehensive report from the conferense. Read more about the book.
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