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Students live rent free in nursing home
by Startacus Admin
The staggering cost of rented property is never far from our screens and printed media these days, with prices across the country, and particularly in the London area spiralling to such an extent, that housing costs have long been reaching unaffordable and wholly unsustainable levels.
The majority of people in rented accommodation are feeling the pinch from these high rates of rent, but perhaps none so keenly as students and young adults embarking on their careers in a market that seems to assume everyone is earning a fair and decent wage.
Some folks in The Netherlands have come up with a rather novel way of solving this, and some other social issues through an innovative scheme that sees young people take up residence in the very last place you would expect to find them living; a nursing home.
In a move which is beneficial to both the elderly residents and the students, Gea Sijpkes CEO of social impact organisation Humanitas Deventer, has implemented the shared housing strategy that provides students with free accommodation in return for 30 hours work per month in the nursing home. The work includes handling some of the day to day aspects of running a sheltered housing facility, but many of the students spend much of their time simply interacting with their elderly neighbours.
Sijpkes uses a really nice turn of phrase to describe the aims of the project, it is she says “a social return on investment against loneliness”.
It’s all part of his vision to create a sustainable warm, welcoming, and enjoyable living experience for residents, that is extremely expensive to achieve through the traditional means of hiring staff.
By putting his mind to it, he has come up with a creative and ingenious way to make his vision a reality through a system of mutually assured benefits. For this ingenuity, and innovative thinking Startacus salutes all involved; but there is so much more than just practical advantages to be gleaned from this most unusual of living arrangements.
'It's a very good thing to connect young and old people together. They can offer each other very nice things in life,' says Sijpkes
'The most benefit is for the elderly people. They say that the young ones bring the outside world inside their lives and their building.'
What a truly marvellous way to approach a number of social and economic issues, we can only hope that this kind of thinking will spread far and wide.
You might also like to take a look at the social enterpirse that offers young people greatly reduced rented accommodation in return for charity work.