After the official acquisition of land in Lachine last year, the Village Urbain cohousing project is unveiling certain terms and starting prices for its units, for which reservations will open at the end of the month.
It should be remembered that cohousing consists of residential complexes where each household owns (or rents) affordable and minimalist private accommodation, while enjoying a range of managed and shared resources, for example collective rooms. Such a project, unprecedented in Montreal, has been carried out for several years by the non-profit organization Village Urbain, which is preparing to finally make it happen on the shores of Lachine.
Reservations for the acquisition of the units will open in the coming weeks, after the exposure of the purchase mechanism and the confirmation of the market launch date during an online conference. Once the selection of aspiring cohabitants has been established, the first sod is scheduled for July, for a project that should be completed by the end of 2024.
The common spaces, representing a total of 5000 sq. other activities, a space of tranquility for work or reading, as well as an area whose vocation will be determined by the future cohabitants. Half of the roofs could be converted into vegetable gardens and green spaces.
No less than 58 apartments are planned as part of the project, namely 19 one-bedroom units, 23 with two bedrooms, 8 with three bedrooms and finally 8 with four bedrooms. The respective starting prices advertised for each type of accommodation are set at $338,027, $439,205, $548,431 and $647,309 (taxes included), with appliances and lockers.
In addition, a quarter of the housing will be intended for rental. To keep rates below the market while inflation is causing construction costs to escalate, the NPO had to activate several mechanisms.
“Also, we ask for a 5% deposit for booking accommodation, instead of the usual 20%”, underlines Estelle Le Roux Joky, who is delighted to be able to offer four-bedroom accommodation, which has become an extremely rare commodity in new buildings for that sector. Note that the accommodation will be slightly more cramped than average, and that a system of removable partitions has been planned by the architects, to divide or merge rooms.
The NPO also points out that affordability is not simply nested in the initial purchase price, but is also embodied in a sustainable dimension, over the years, thanks to the cohousing lifestyle, among other things.
On the sidelines, economies of scale could be achieved through the possible grouping of mortgage applications, notarial fees, requests to municipal programs or the collectivization of everyday purchases (groceries, internet, etc.). Finally, the cohabitants will be called upon to get involved in the management of the premises, which should reduce the use of professionals for maintenance and, by extension, the condominium fees.
Future horizons are also considered, since a resale price limit will be imposed, and rent increases will be controlled. “Mechanisms are provided to ensure that housing is as affordable as possible and above all that it remains so over time,” concludes the Director General.