City Council approves Tomo, new co-housing for families

Following a public hearing, Vancouver City Council voted to approve a new co-housing project located in Vancouver’s Sunset neighbourhood. Meaning “Together + More”, Tomo House offers a creative housing solution that will see the addition of another twelve homes geared towards middle income families who live and work in Vancouver.

“Tomo House represents an innovative approach to home ownership and community building that we need to see much more of in Vancouver’s challenging housing market,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’re using every tool we have to dramatically ramp up the supply of affordable homes and co-housing is a great example of new housing options that Vancouver residents want and need. Congratulations to all of the community partners who came together to make Tomo House happen.”

Located at 5809 - 5811 Main Street, Tomo House will provide 12 co-housing units, with a mix of three-studios, 2 one-bedroom, 4 two-bedroom, and 3 three-bedroom homes. Residents of the building will enjoy a number of shared common spaces, including a common amenity room, laundry room, and outdoor courtyard.

Three homes are proposed as affordable homeownership units and will be sold for approximately 35 per cent less than market value to income tested buyers, with measures in place to ensure long-term affordability.

Tomo House is the product of a unique partnership between Tomo Spaces Inc., owner and developer of the property, and a Vancouver-based co-housing group, Our Urban Village (OUV).

Tomo House represents a new, more collaborative approach to co-housing, described as “co-housing lite”. Tomo is responsible for land acquisition, project design, and construction management, while OUV members provide feedback throughout the co-development process and are given the option to purchase homes upon completion.

This project is in line with the Housing Vancouver strategy, which includes initiatives to boost the supply of affordable housing and to encourage a housing mix across all neighbourhoods that enhances quality of life.

In 2012, Council officially legalized co-housing under the Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy.