12 August 2021
Co-living has been a rising international trend in recent years. A shared apartment usually accommodates three or more young people, with everyone sharing spaces such as the kitchen, living and dining rooms, as well as resources like cutlery and utensils. Renting the space and living there costs less, while one crucial benefit of co-living is having the chance to connect with others, fostering community spirit. The concept emerged in Copenhagen, Denmark in the 1970s and subsequently took off all around the world: from Europe to America, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

In Hong Kong, co-living is also becoming better known. In 2019, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG) released a study, titled “Co-living: An Alternative Hong Kong Housing Solution for Youth?”, exploring millennials’ viewpoints on co-living. The respondents agreed in general that “co-living provides the younger generation an alternative living option”.
A sense of community

Convenor Ronald Chan and Deputy Convenor Liu Mei Yan from the Youth IDEAS Think Tank Livelihood Group of HKFYG conducted the co-living study. Their findings indicate that co-living offers more than a place for the younger generation to call home; it also provides a community where everyone looks out for one another.

“Co-living works like a small community. Residents help each other out, in a way similar to how our parents’ generation got along with neighbours in the past,” says Liu. “Residents initiate organising committees where everyone takes up a different role. These function like a mini owners’ corporation.”

In addition, community managers organise activities like cooking parties, orientation sessions and movie nights that help bond the community. In some parts of Asia, such as Taiwan, they even have community tours to explore the neighbourhood together.

Chan explains that living in groups allows the younger generation to develop their networks while sharing their expertise and know-how with one another: “Residents all come from different professional backgrounds. Through continuous communication and exchange, you can acquire a little know-how about the jobs of your co-living neighbours. It’s one of the unexpected benefits,” he notes.

More importantly, young residents can grow together through co-living. Chan says “youth are housed with residents who are close in age and journeying through a similar stage of life. It’s easier to find sympathy and support, which leads to a greater sense of social belonging.”
 

 

 

Co-living provides an alternative living option. What’s more, it improves quality of life by bonding communities of people who look out for one another.

  • Apart from sharing facilities, community managers also organise activities to encourage exchange among residents.
  • Co-Living Case Competition

    Nina Hospitality, under the umbrella of Chinachem Group, has recently launched the Co-Living Case Competition. University students are invited to participate with co-living proposals for Nina Hotel Tsuen Wan West and Nina Hotel Island South. The winning team will be awarded a 12-month employment contract with Nina Hospitality for the hotels’ co-living project.
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