Cascade Cohousing

Basic Information
westhouses.jpg

The first and longest-running modern cohousing community in Australia.

Year founded: 
1991
Community size: 
20 to 50

Location

South Hobart, TAS, 7004
Australia
See map: Google Maps
General Information

Cascade Cohousing is built in South Hobart, a Hobart suburb that sits between the city and Mt Wellington. Twenty adults and 16 children live here in 16 households.We have a central common house with rooms for kitchen, dining, lounge, kids, TV, guests, laundry and workshop. We run common meals 3 nights a week and they are very popular. Common meals are one of our greatest successes and are at the core of our common values. About half the residents of Cascade Cohousing express a preference for a vegetarian diet and we have agreed to exclude meat, other than fish, from the common house.

The houses at Cascade Cohousing were built to be energy efficient and consideration of "environmental impact" was part of the process of design and construction. Most houses are constructed from airated concrete blocks or from timber and have two stories. All houses have good solar access from the north and many have features such as greenhouses for trapping the sun's heat. The grounds of Cascade Cohousing slope to the east and there are views of both Mt Wellington and the River Derwent.

Common social activities include film and video watching, games evenings, eating, Morris dancing, gardening and playing cricket with the kids. We have two regular parties each year (plus other private or spontaneous ones) at mid-winter and mid-summer. Our mid summer gathering is limited to residents and a few friends and has a Christmas feel and is a celebration of another year living at Cascade Cohousing. Our mid winter party is usually an invite-all-your-friends affair with lots of music and dancing.

We built the common house and most of our paths and landscaping ourselves. We have a "working bee" once a month for construction and maintenance of the site. Sometimes the working bees are hard work, but they are mostly fun and social occasions.

About one quarter of of our land has been preserved as an area of unbuilt space and most of this is regenerating to the natural bush of the region. Between the regrowth and the housing we have a space for orchards, gardens and a chicken run. There are currently 10 chickens in the run and they supply some of our eggs, eat lots of food scraps and entertain both children and adults alike. Our fruit trees are now producing. This year we had a huge crop of apples and plenty of apricots, but birds ate the almond crop.

Contact Information
Contact person name: 

Ian Higginbottom

Phone number: 

0419550277

Physical Details
Setting: 
suburban
Area of land: 
1-5 acres
Number of dwellings: 
15-20
Community Assets and Features
Shared facilities and features: 
guest room(s)
laundry
dining
kids' room
workshop
community gardens or farms
Food
Percentage of food grown on-site: 
0 percent
Dietary customs and restrictions: 

Meals in our common house are vegetarian or fish. No dietry restrictions on membership or private houses

Governing and Financing
Decision-making: 

Consensus based with all residents having a say, fall back to vote of unit holders in certain circumstances

Financing Style: 

Strata title

Labour contribution: 

About 20 hours per quarter per household