Canadian house prices have risen for years, and many homes are simply not affordable for 2030’s younger families. Many young people are choosing to purchase a larger home to share with extended family or friends. These new types of buildings—co-houses—contain offices, laundry and party facilities, kids’ play-rooms, and often some kind of garden or green space. Co-housing arrangements may also include the shared ownership of one or more vehicles. Co-house members share the mortgage and the use of the property, but somebody has to organize it all.
Residence managers run the co-house property: they ensure that the group’s bills are paid on time, the vehicles are running well, and everyone is getting along as best as they can. If there are simple maintenance problems or concerns, the residence manager will handle it; many residence managers are very handy people. Because co-houses are home to a group of people who will likely come into conflict at some point, the residence manager is also there to help mediate and problem-solve interpersonal problems.
Property managers will need basic home maintenance skills, though they will often rely on specialists like plumbers or roofers if the problem gets too big. Empathy and fairness are important so that they can remain calm under pressure and in times of conflict. Some residence managers may pick up additional training that can benefit their cohabitants, like basic accounting, insurance, or financial planning skills.