What is Community?
Communities can be defined in many different ways. The community that Miller's Corner is aspiring to develop is one of mutual independence which allows community members the chance to support others within the community and not just their immediate family. Community is about commonality, shared experiences, interests, characteristics and a level of social connectedness between community members. In our research we found that the co-housing model fitted many of our needs.
Co-housing is an intentional community of private homes clustered around a shared space. Each attached or single family home has traditional amenities, including a private kitchen. Shared spaces typically feature a common house (Forest House here at Miller’s Corner), which may include a large kitchen and dining area, recreational area, laundry, bathroom and sometimes guest facilities. Shared outdoor space may include parking, walkways, open space and gardens. Neighbours can also share resources like tools and lawnmowers.
Households have independent incomes and private lives, but neighbours collaboratively plan and manage community activities and shared spaces. Community activities can feature regularly scheduled shared meals, meetings and working bees. Neighbours can gather for parties, games, movies or other events. Co-housing makes it easy to form clubs, organise child and elder care and provide opportunities to car pool. There is a legal structure in place.
Miller’s Corner key characteristics of co-housing community which created a positive environment for all involved:
Non-hierarchical structure and decision-making