Rarebirds ready to roost
The Rarebirds housing co-operative is ready to take flight.
Since last summer, the group has been working toward its dream of building a co-op home just west of downtown.
When completed, the project will see a 4,000-square-foot house overlooking Kamloops at 772 West Battle St. near Guerin Creek.
The group will share expenses and living areas, though members will have private rooms.
Dan Hines, a member of the Rarebirds, said it’s a project that supports a more environmentally sustainable and affordable type of lifestyle.
Why the name Rarebirds?
Hines said in conversations with friends and family, the group realized this project was an unconventional one.
“Somebody said ‘We’re kind of rare birds’ and that name kind of stuck,” said Hines.
So far, the group has eight members — three couples and two singles — invested in the projects.
The cost of investing is $200,000, with a budget of $1.2 million — all coming out of members’ pockets.
Including the couples as one investor each, the Rarebirds have raised about $1 million of their budget and are actively seeking a sixth investor.
The members chose to build downtown because they wanted an urban setting, allowing them to be close to all the amenities they would need, like public transit, the farmers’ market and shopping areas.
“Lots of these intentional communities or co-housing units or eco-villages decide to do rural projects — where they do a lot of farming — but we wanted to be right on the edge of the downtown core preferably,” said Hines.
He added the central location will allow them to drive less and bike or walk more.
The group has an architect in place for the future home, said Hine, and, at the moment, they’ve just started the home-designing phase.
They plan to build a two-storey contemporary design home.
The plan is for the residence to have six private areas of 400 square feet for each of the co-owners.
The private areas will each have a bedroom, bathroom, closet and sitting room.
There will also be a large common area that includes a kitchen, pantry, living room, storage, small bathroom, and exercise room.
Hines said co-operative housing projects such as theirs are movements that will grow over time, especially with rising costs of houses.
“And, it makes sense,” said Hines.
“We’re not sustainable if [we] constantly build these 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot houses in the suburbs for two people.”