PHOTO: MONIQUE FORD / STUFF Thomas (top) and Hannah (between the boys) Schickedanz were founding members of the Urban Habitat Collective. A big drawcard was the prospect of raising their boys Elliott (6) (second from top) and Otis (9) in a community focused urban environment.

As planning of a Wellington co-housing space ramps up, housing experts predict the unique communal living solution could become more popular in New Zealand, writes Matthew Tso.

The proverb says “it takes a village to raise a child” and one group of Wellingtonians are taking this to heart by first building the village.

Hannah and Thomas Schickedanz are members of the Wellington co-housing group The Urban Habitat Collective who hope to transform a Mount Cook sheet metal working site into an “urban village”.

After forming about 18 months ago the development has moved quickly – the group secured their site in April, it has grown from eight to about 16 households, finalised its legal structure, are testing the site’s soil and are now deep into designing the complex ahead of applying for consent, which they hope to do in mid 2020.