If you were like most Australian youth, you left the safety and comfort of home to taste freedom in safety ‒ in a share house. Many of us have fond memories of communal life (and possibly some epic parties!)
Share houses in history
The rise of the share house in Australia has been attributed largely to the growth of universities from the 1950s on and accelerated in 1972 when university education became free.
In the post-Woodstock era, the share house was notable in particular for mixed genders. Our 1960s society couldn’t quite get their heads around young men and women living in the same house. (We still remember This Day Tonight interviews with housemates about how they managed to live together when they weren’t paired off.)
The real deal about share houses was it gave housemates a cost-effective way to live while being supported by their like-minded friends. There was safety in numbers that gave us freedom to explore ourselves. Sociologists have called living in a share house a ‘rite of passage’. Most of all, it was fun!
Living the Australian dream as homeowners
As we grew up, many of us got married, had children and acquired pets. This so-called ‘nuclear family’ wasn’t suited to communal living (in most cases) and we bought or rented homes.
Later, as some divorced or had a partner die, this meant financial hardship and often, loneliness.
Dearth of affordable housing
We know of many older people, particularly women, who struggle to find suitable properties to rent and who are ineligible for a bank loan for various reasons, including that their working days are over or they’ve had a health issue that drained their savings. Many of us have made pacts with single friends to combine resources as we get older and our income reduces. However, that still leaves many of us without a plan ‒ or a home.
Advertise with our Senior Flatmates service ‒ at no charge to you
As we learned more about housing affordability, we could see the risks of many older Australians having to live in substandard accommodation or becoming homeless. So we decided to do something about it.
If you’re looking for suitable accommodation, our Senior Flatmates service is for you.
Best of all, advertising is free if you want to rent a room or find a new home. (This service is free to individuals only. Commercial operators are excluded.)
- You have a room in your home to rent:
Advertise your spare room or your accommodation and find a senior flatmate.
- You’re looking for affordable accommodation:
Search for accommodation to share where you can make friends to enjoy your next 30 years with.
Go to the Senior Flatmates page to advertise your room or to find a home.
Alternatively, search the current senior flatmate listings.
Finding your new family
Noted one younger share house resident in a 2020 interview, your share housemates are like family.
If you’re older and looking for shared accommodation, you aren’t alone. According to a 2016 report, the largest increase in people looking for shared accommodation was in the 60-64 years age group.
Social isolation is a real and documented health risk ‒ and isn’t limited to older people. So why not take the plunge and find new friends while enjoying a more comfortable lifestyle and improved social life? Visit our listings for shared accommodation and get started.
Want to learn more about making the most of your next 30 years?
We’re committed to making life better for the over 55s. Check out downsizing.com.au for more insights and great advice on living life to the fullest.