I have been very gratified to see more articles on aging, its challenges and helpful solutions. Finding affordable housing is becoming a national crisis for all ages but when it comes to a fixed income and the diminishing abilities of older adults, housing is still the key to independence. Developers will develop what they can to draw the most profit, but few can afford the luxury senior ‘villas’ in the 400,000 range. Counties have limited funds for senior apartment subsidies. Waiting lists for those reduced rent apartments are sometimes hopelessly long.
So what do people do? They find each other and share what they have to build an independent unit of their own. Some local organizations have been more out front about this being a need that has to be met and stepping into help make it a safer process. There is always the Golden Girls website but cross matching house sharing should be done more on a local level. Otherwise the next thing will be people are being told that are violating local zoning laws. Silvernest is still an active website dedicated to finding safe matches but again operates only in some states. There are definite pros and cons to house sharing. It is not for everyone or even most people. People have their pet peeves and privacy is always an issue. But financial survival can be the deciding factor and then it turns into something even better.
A recent NYT article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/health/seniors-housing-sharing-villages.html starts out talking about house sharing then moves swiftly to the Village to Village movement. The connectivity of the ‘villages’ can provide a real social support system. Dues can be high and the hierarchy of rules can seem prohibitive. Part of the problem with the Village to Village setup is that younger people have to keep joining or else the needs of the group become age heavy. Some of the earliest villages have had to hire case managers to insure that members can stay in the community.
I believe necessity is the mother of invention. The growing number of seniors on their own, especially single women over the age of 50 will figure it out. They can be practical and cautious at the same time. A good fit is a good fit and an opportunity to make a tiny village of your own.