Co-ops, collectives offer urban housing options

Sharing meals, household chores and lives is becoming more commonplace for everyone from young adults to senior citizens.

During the 1960s, this type of living arrangement was referred to as a commune and was embraced by hippies and free spirits on more of a whim. Today, it is known as collective or cohousing and those who are opting for these shared living arrangements are doing it more out of financial necessity or as a way to follow their social beliefs.

Hannah Reischl, 22, said her first collective housing experience happened in Kalamazoo while she was a student at Kalamazoo College. In 2010, she met someone who was involved with the Kalamazoo Collective Housing, which owns a home — the Fletcher Collective — on Walnut Street where she rented a room and lived with nine other residents.

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