SENORA project


Senior communal living (SENORA) project explores senior cohousing communities in Finland. Senior cohousing communities differ from other types of communal living communities in that they have a minimum age requirement (48+ or 55+), are designed with accessibility in mind, and are typically conveniently located close to amenities and public transportation. The SENORA project was launched to chart the existing senior cohousing communities in Finland and examine resident experiences of communal living and their expectations for the future. The project will also explore the views of stakeholders and developers on the current state of senior housing in Finland and the demand for new senior housing units. The SENORA project will run from May 2024 to June 2025.

Ideally, the communal housing models that are available to different age groups can support residents’ social inclusion and well-being, the shared use of facilities and resources, energy-effective construction, and the development of accessible services. The SENORA project will provide new insights into the current state of senior cohousing in Finland and identify the characteristics shared by long-established, successful senior cohousing communities to inform not only current housing developments but also regional and urban planning. As Finland’s population is ageing, it is increasingly important for regional and urban planners to consider the needs, hopes and resources of older adults. The project will generate new knowledge that we need to estimate and predict future demand for senior cohousing.

The multidisciplinary SENORA project is a collaborative effort involving two research groups and two faculties at Tampere University, namely the Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care (CoE AgeCare), the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Sustainable Housing Design (ASUTUT) research group, and the Faculty of Built Environment. The project is led by Docent, Research Manager Outi Jolanki. The project team comprises doctoral researchers Anniriikka Rantala and Outi Valkama and research assistants Terhi Lampio and MSc student in social policy Suvi Mykkänen. In addition, the project participants include Katja Maununaho, researcher, architect SAFA and chair of the ASUTUT research group, and Joona Lukka who is currently a visiting researcher in the ASUTUT group.



In the past few years, different communal housing models and senior cohousing communities have become a growing trend in many countries, including Finland. Senior cohousing projects are often launched by self-organised groups of citizens or by foundations, associations or other communities. Senior cohousing combines independent living in private homes, which are either owned or rented by the residents, with shared indoor and outdoor spaces. The communities generally offer a wide variety of organised and informal activities which are either resident-driven or co-organised by both the residents and external stakeholders. The management of the communities is carried out by the residents themselves or by the residents in collaboration with a background organisation. All residents are automatically members of the residents’ committee that usually plans the joint activities and reviews feedback provided by residents. Senior cohousing communities are accessible and located close to amenities and public transportation. They are open to all those who meet the minimum age requirement (48+ or 55+) or who have a family member who meets the age requirement. Senior cohousing is not assisted living, and residents do not have to complete an assessment of their care needs in order to be eligible to move to a cohousing community.

As separate statistics are not compiled for inter-generational and senior cohousing communities, there is little information available about the existing senior cohousing communities in Finland. Many of the previous studies in this area have examined age-friendly housing and housing models that combine independent living and assisted living. The SENORA project builds on this previous research but will especially focus on senior cohousing communities. The project will also include case studies that investigate the use of digital tools and services for communication purposes and the role of digital tools in building a sense of community among residents.



The goals of the SENORA project are:

1) Identify the existing senior cohousing schemes that are found across Finland.

2) Explore resident experiences of senior cohousing communities and identify good practices and areas for development.

3) Collect information on how seniors’ associations, developers and the representatives of municipalities and welfare services counties perceive the demand for senior cohousing, the requirements and obstacles related to building senior cohousing units, and future directions in senior cohousing.



The SENORA project will shed light on the current state and popularity of senior cohousing in Finland as well as the locations and developers of senior cohousing communities, the ownership and management models, the number of residents and their experiences of cohousing. The project will generate basic information about senior cohousing in Finland and identify the factors that influence residents’ satisfaction with their living environment and help to foster their sense of community. In addition, the project will provide new insights into the problems and challenges relating to the construction of senior cohousing units and the different cohousing schemes and how they should be developed from the perspective of residents to better meet their diverse needs.

The new knowledge generated by the project will not only support regional and urban planning but also help residential developers make informed decisions. In addition, the final report will provide senior citizens with information about the different senior cohousing schemes so they can consider which option could be the best for them.



The SENORA project is funded by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, the Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care (CoE AgeCare), Tampere University and the Jyväskylä Veteran Housing Foundation sr.



The Finnish Association for the Welfare of Older Adults (VKTL)


Varttuneiden asumisoikeusyhdistys JASO (JASO Leasehold Cooperative for Older adults), Jyväskylä

Aktiiviset Seniorit ry (Active Seniors Association), Helsinki

Omatoimi, Saarijärven seudun asumisoikeusyhdistys (Omatoimi, Leasehold Cooperative in the Saarijärvi Region), Saarijärvi

Setlementtiasunnot Oy


More information on the project: Research Manager, Adjunct Professor, Outi Jolanki,