Living with strangers: exploring motivations and stated preferences for considering co-housing and shared living in Bergen, Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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In recent decades, there has been a growing interest among urban residents, policy makers, and researchers in co-housing as a socially, environmentally, and sustainable housing alternative. In Norway, however, co-housing is still a relatively unknown and niche housing option among the general population. This paper presents a qualitative research study of potential residents’ stated preferences and underlying motivation concerning co-housing and shared living in Norway. We conducted ten semi-structured interviews with potential residents for a co-housing pilot project in the city of Bergen, Norway. We analyzed the data using thematic analysis and categorized different motivational reasons and preferences. The mix of age groups in the sample contributed to understanding differences and similarities in motivation and preferences, as well as the likelihood of converting co-housing interest into action. We found that pragmatism and social motivation were the main drivers for co-housing. Although environmental concerns were ranked second, they were consistently prevalent among the participants. Esthetics – for example, a “wow factor” – were emphasized as important for co-housing building preferences.