Support for creating regenerative, connected, affordable housing communities

by Zola Rose
Professional Services
Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, U.S., global

Do you feel a calling to create a housing community that fosters social connection, sharing, and belonging?

Are you inspired to develop an ecovillage, housing cooperative, tiny home village or co-housing and want support to make it happen?

Are you feeling moved to address the injustice around unaffordable housing, gentrification, and cookie-cutter status-quo housing developments

With climate change creating instability in our environment, are you wanting a neighbourhood designed for ecological resilience?

Do you own land and want to maximise its potential to serve the greatest good?

If any is “yes” then check out:

Common Ground

Our vision: Thriving, connected communities that enable a great quality of life and that contribute to the social, ecological and economic wellbeing of an area.

Our mission: Building the will and capacity of leaders, professionals, developers, and community groups to use regenerative design for the development of sustainable, affordable, connected housing communities and settlements.

Our unique role: We work at the nexus of regenerative thinking and wholistic design systems, personal and collective leadership systems, and the built environment, legal and financial systems.  We are a social enterprise based in Aotearoa New Zealand but work globally.


Services (see all current services)

Housing Community Creator Accelerator & Mastermind Programme

We’re launching this programme for those who feel called or have stepped into developing or supporting the creation of a connected, sustainable, and affordable housing community development.

In this programme, you will join other visionaries and community creators in a guided and curated group programme to go on this journey together while also working on and getting support for your own idea or project.

You will unlock your project’s potential, gain from group wisdom and accountability, feel supported and encouraged, connect with sector experts, and gain traction.

It is a 6-month online programme including live sessions, coaching, a facilitated Mastermind, individual project work, accountability sessions, access to a year Common Ground membership and access to resources.

Quick strategy session of 1.5 hours

  • Clarity of your vision, including its regenerative potential
  • Next steps and a roadmap
  • Identified potential partners or supporters
  • A sense of confidence in taking your project to the next level

Mentorship & Coaching

We offer a renewable 3-month package to support you with:

  • clarity on vision and purpose
  • a project plan with milestones and accountability to achieve targets,
  • identifying regenerative potential,
  • building and sustaining group cohesion and effective team processes
  • attracting resources and partnerships,
  • engaging greater community-wide stakeholders,
  • navigating affordability options and strategies
  • putting together a professional project team
  • understanding the land and support with creating a permaculture plan

One of our current clients is the Raglan Ecovillage Project

Bespoke workshops & short courses in a variety of topics such as regenerative design thinking, compassionate communication & cooperative group work

Membership platform, hosted on Mighty Networks, to find others in your area or who share your passions and goals as regards community-led and focused housing.

Housing in Service to Life Practitioners Consortium

We are growing a referral and collaboration consortium of housing and place-making professionals who believe that housing should be in service to life.

We aim to build the capacity and fill the growing demand for more professionals who can serve community-led and community-focused housing to achieve their collective housing missions.

We welcome new practitioners who feel aligned to this mission.  Fill in an Expression of Interest and we will get back with you.


Zola Rose, Director of Common Ground

Zola has gained knowledge and experience living, studying, and working with developing regenerative housing settlements.

Housing Community Achievements

  • Lived in an intentional rural eco-community in South Africa for nine years
  • Developed an off-grid rural homestead of one acre using permaculture design principles which functioned as a Sustainability Commons Learning Centre for teachers, local community, and international visitors
  • Initiated the establishment of the first Council-partnered and government-funded Community Land Trust in Aotearoa (for affordable housing)
  • Coordinated the building of 100+ houses on rural and urban sites in partnership with future residents and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity over four years

Qualifications & Memberships

  • Masters in community and international development
  • Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC)
  • Ecovillage Design Education certificate (EDE)
  • The Regenerative Practitioner course certificate
  • Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) Ambassador
  • Won the 2012 “Eduplant” award for best permaculture school in the province
  • Member of the Australasian Facilitator’s Network
  • Served on The Housing Innovation Society from 2020-end 2021
  • Served on the Co-operative Housing Society of NZ from 2019-2020


You’re like a co-housing dynamo. So much knowledge and connections. Talking to you was so informative and totally inspiring. I feel our goals are totally aligned around regenerative housing, community prosperity and ecological health. Thanks so much for your mahi (work). –Peter Grant, architect

Zola has huge knowledge about alternative housing – both local and global issues. She is well connected in the alternative housing area and brings a wealth of knowledge to events and courses. She is an excellent facilitator both in small and large groups. –Greer O’Donnell, Director Urban Advisory

Zola, you helped me be clearer on setting my goals, you keep me accountable, you help me with your connections and liaising with people, you helped me wording some of my presentation to council.  You communicate clearly, you are punctual and very organised, which helps me stay on track.  You have opened a whole new world around the regenerative principles, even though I find it sometimes overwhelming as it touches on so many aspects. –Nadine Simar, Raglan Ecovillage Project Founder


Storytelling and Awareness Raising of Regenerative Housing Communities

We seek and share inspirational and positive stories of people that are creating these kinds of housing projects/communities.  We invite you to share your story to be hosted on our YouTube and social media channels.

Women Revolutionising Housing

We are a diverse network of women who believe that housing is a human right, who are leading innovative housing projects, and who want systems change for more affordable, sustainable housing options.  Join us.

Common Ground website:

All contact information is on the website.