Facing issues in supply of both eldercare and affordable housing for students, France has sought to tackle both problems simultaneously by encouraging intergenerational homeshares.
The Cohabitation Solidaire Intergenerationelle (COSI) group is made up of 28 organisations that facilitate such arrangements, where the senior citizen offers cheap rent in return for the companionship and security of having another person around the house. In a recent study by the group, over 60% of young people participating in the scheme said that they would not have been able to afford traditional housing without it, and for some, it’s vital for enabling them to attend university.
A commitment, but not a chore
Although those entering into an intergenerational homeshare need to be responsible and willing to help their cohabitant, this is a positive experience for the vast majority of those who live in one. Just 8% of participants in the study reported feeling ‘disappointed’ by the experience.
The arrangement can literally be a lifesaver in some cases, where students have noticed signs of serious illness in their housemate and helped them to get the necessary treatment.