Retire different: Shared housing

Are you a boomer who can’t afford to retire?  Are you a senior knocking around in a big ‘ole house all by yourself? Why not get together, try shared housing and thrive?

Are you a boomer who can’t afford to retire? Are you a senior knocking around in a big ‘ole house all by yourself? Why not get together, try shared housing and thrive? 

Home sharing is making a comeback in the United States. The primary reason of course is the cost of housing nowadays. Folks can’t afford to live by themselves anymore. As millions of boomers march toward retirement without enough income, Americans are facing a crisis. According to AARP, 1 in every 4 baby boomers has nothing saved for retirement.

There is no way to build enough affordable housing to meet the demand.  Government programs such as Section 8 and HUD are maxed out and waiting lists are closed.  Rents keep rising and now people of all ages are struggling. It’s time to think outside the box!

Why not use existing housing stock and create programs that address prospective housemates concerns by providing education and resources to ensure a successful home share experience?

Suggested areas of education might be:

-Am I a good candidate for shared housing and what are my boundaries?

– How do I vet a prospective housemate?

– What happens when we have a disagreement?

– Tenant/Landlord and Fair Housing law

– What do I do with all my stuff?

– How might I structurally modify my home to make it more “share” friendly?

What are some other benefits we can identify?

– You don’t have to work ‘til you drop

– You don’t have to live with your kids

– You can afford to live in a much nicer place than what you could afford on your own

– You have a ready-made social circle

– You get to choose who you want to live with

– You can group yourselves any way you like; similar interests, varied skill sets, by gender, by culture, pet-friendly, etc. 

– You can travel and have someone water your plants or feed your cat while you’re away

– Someone is there to leave the porch light on and ask about your day

Shared housing is becoming an affordable option for aging in place.   Once you’ve identified your “tribe” and have a smooth functioning household, you’ll just naturally watch out for one another and know if one of your housemates has an emergency.

As time goes by and your group starts needing help with housekeeping, cooking, grocery shopping or laundry for example, everyone can pitch in for a fraction of what it would cost to hire a person by yourself. 

There are several shared housing programs available in the Portland area.  Each one is a little different but they are all designed to match homeowners and housemates for shared housing.

Article Provided by: Michele Fiasca
Let’s Share Housing