Step 3: Baseline Study

The baseline study provides data on residents’ wellbeing prior to moving into Tomo House. The results will help us assess how cohousing lite may impact resident wellbeing.

The baseline study provides data on residents’ wellbeing prior to moving into Tomo House. The results from this study will be compared with data collected after move in, allowing the research team to assess how the cohousing lite model may impact resident wellbeing. The baseline study includes two components:

  1. An online survey to provide quantitative data
  2. One-on-one interviews with residents to provide qualitative data

Of course, many factors other than housing influence people’s wellbeing over time. The goal of the study is to identify trends in residents’ wellbeing through the survey, and confirm these trends through qualitative data and observations. These trends will allow us to measure the impact that Tomo House has on occupant wellbeing over time.

If you are interested in seeing the full results and methodology, please email us at

Snapshot of key findings

The baseline study examined 12 variables, all of which help us understand a person’s overall wellbeing in relation to their housing. The 12 variables are:

  • Tenure
  • Sense of belonging
  • Safety
  • Social group size
  • Spatial inclusion
  • Exposure
  • Trust
  • Comfort
  • Sociability
  • Contact with nature
  • Engagement
  • Perceived health

Some key findings from the baseline study include:

  • Half of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I feel welcome in my neighbourhood and feel like I belong here.”
  • The majority (90%) spend 30% or less of their income on housing, and no one spends more than 40%.
  • Most people (60%) live in a 2-bedroom apartment, with 90% of respondents living in multi-unit.
  • Almost all (90%) are satisfied with their current private living spaces, but people are much less satisfied with shared spaces in their buildings, hinting at a potential reason behind choosing to move into Tomo House. For example, only 30% are satisfied with shared indoor spaces, and just 50% are satisfied with shared outdoor spaces. Some people said they did not use common spaces more often due to reasons including that the spaces are uninteresting, hard to book, or not functional. 
  • Out of the respondents with children, three of five (60%) do not feel comfortable allowing their children to play unsupervised in the building’s courtyard or outdoor space.
  • Just under half (40%) of respondents said they are not comfortable asking their neighbours for any favours. Most people surveyed never share items with neighbours.
  • Most respondents (80%) do not consider any neighbours as friends. Only 20% have one or two neighbours as friends.
  • 40% never or rarely feel lonely, 40% feel lonely sometimes, and 20% often feel lonely.
  • There is a high level of community engagement, with 90% of respondents having engaged in some kind of volunteering activity in the past year.
  • Most people walk (80%) or use public transit (60%) as a primary mode of commuting, with driving one’s own vehicle (40%) and biking (40%) also popular options.

Step 4: Experience Interviews

Step 5: First Post Occupancy Study

Step 6: Second Post-occupancy Study

Step 7: Key Learnings

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