Sharing a home is an option

Whether you're an empty-nester or you just don't like living on your own, sharing a home can be beneficial for everyone

Home sharing is a great option for many people

Home sharing is a great option for many people

Life happens and it isn’t always timely. We do our best, but for a variety of reasons we don’t always end up where we planned to be.

If this is you and you are edging toward your 60s or beyond, you are not alone. My imperfect math skills, with the help of Statistics Canada, estimate that more than one million Canadians aged 55 to 69 are living alone on incomes between $1,250 and $2,000 per month. Many are apprehensive about their future: the ever increasing discrepancies between income and expense, isolation, vulnerability, safety, affordable housing, aging alone, and the list goes on.

House sharing is not a new concept, but in our country has most often been accomplished through existing friendships, families, and with limited success through organizations placing people together in homes.

A home share is not: a room rental, rooming house, room and board, student housing, or moving in with family members. It is an equal democratic sharing of the entire home. Some people will choose a home share because they do not want to be alone, some because their retirement income will not allow them to stay living in their house, some do not want to downsize, some will want to share so there is always someone there to hold a ladder or lift the other end of a big box. Some want a like-minded person to build things with in the shop, some want to share the cooking and cleaning and yard work, and some want to make a smaller foot print on the world in which they live. Some want pets or the security of numbers. For others, simply knowing their spouse will not be alone when they are gone will be their motivation. There are as many reasons to home share as there are people, but the result is that it offers the option of affordable living and aging in place with a stable supportive peer group that has built friendships over time.

There is no waiting for construction, many large multi-bedroom, multi-bath houses already exist in safe residential areas that are perfect for home shares. Some of these homes will be owned by couples or singles that want to home share. Some will be owned by investors looking for solid viable long-term rental income. The rent charged for these large homes is affordable because it is shared by all. The cost of gas, electricity, television, internet, water, garbage, recycling and more are also shared equally by all, reducing each person’s monthly costs exponentially, increasing the home share group’s standard of living and standard of housing, 10-fold.

If you think this may be a solution for you or someone you know, please e-mail me: I believe that if ordinary people like you and me can get this idea going and growing many will then have this option as a choice, and their lives and futures will be unimaginably better than they otherwise would be.