Yes, it might. Housing is just one of several crises that we face in these astonishing times. But making headway on that sets the stage for other concerns–nutrition, obesity, isolation, education, care for the elderly and children–to fall into place.
What does housing have to do with health? Millions of people are obese and in poor health because they subsist on addictive fast food and snacks instead of home cooked food that has actual nutrients. Knowing that someone is at home cooking the dinner that you will share with people you like would be a profoundly comforting thought.
What does housing have to do with education? Millions of families are headed by single parents who are probably gone from home working endless hours, often leaving children unsupervised. Sharing a home with completely honorable people who genuinely like children, everyone could agree on a policy that the homework gets done and a meal is on the table every night. Structure is important for everyone, but especially for children.
New Community Vision’s Housing Mixers provide frequent opportunities to explore a range of housing options that may be more suitable for various life stages. These alternatives include:
- Buying a building with friends.
- PH/H – Professional Homes managed by Professional Homemakers. The homemaker decides who lives there, the terms of their residency and ensures the smooth and harmonious functioning of the home. This would be a great job, which is not to say an easy one, for people who are natural at it, grandmothers for example. It also would provide income for people who currently don’t consider themselves employable.
- N-FIG, Non-Familial, Inter-Generational home sharing. All adults are equal, either all renters or all owners.
- Dormitory housing – A case can be made for dormitory living. Some people are well over their love affair with “stuff” and would welcome living a simpler lifestyle in a gracious environment with less responsibility. Dormitories would have private bedrooms, common living space and an arrangement for meals.
The principles of sharing a roof with others are:
- People choose where to live. If it does not suit you, live elsewhere.
- Everyone pays their fair share and does their fair share i.e., chores.
- Be pleasant. If you can’t muster that, at least strive for it.
- MYOB, mind your own business. Thou shalt not judge, meddle, or attempt to “fix” anyone.
If you would like Housing Mixers in your community, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s get ‘em going!