Monday, 26 September 2016

Shared Rental - a viable solution to un-affordable housing - for some

Shared rental housing may not be suitable for everyone, but surely it is a component of a total solution. Maybe it is an interim solution while long-term solutions are found.

First some questions about you
  • Are you aged 40 or over?
  • Are you single and making it on your own?
  • Are you working or willing to work? Are you "adding value" even if no-one is paying you?
  • Have you become aware that you are not going to have enough money to live a decent life in retirement?
  • Are you willing or able to cooperate with others in the same situation to improve your chances of achieving financial and housing security?
  • Are you willing to be creative and look at radical new solutions?
  • Are you committed, on some level, to healthy and sustainable living?

Then read on to see the plan

The first house - organisational rules
  • We rent a large and well-appointed house which we share.
  • One individual is the leaseholder and others commit to a minimum of a one month stay.
  • There is a flat rate monthly rental that includes all utilities and cleaning products.
  • All payments are made into a "house" account which should accrue a little to cover emergencies.
  • The first lessee establishes core rules regarding chemicals, animals, gender, food and other matters that impact the whole household. These are kept to a minimum. 
  • Subsequent house members enter the house and commit to the original organisational and core rules. Core rules can only be changed by the lessee. For some the core rules may be a temporary arrangement while they work to set up a second house in the network with slightly different core rules.
  • Rooms in the house are advertised perpetually until the house is over-full.
The first house - sample core rules to suit first lessee
  • Food is managed individually.
  • The house is run as chemical free as reasonably possible.
  • We value fresh healthy food but do not attempt to impose our specific dietary regimes on others.
  • Well mannered pets may be welcome depending on house lease stipulations.
  • Gender is not specified but respect for all genders is required.

The second house
  • Once the first house is overfull, a second individual takes the lease on a second house.
  • This second individual establishes the core rules for the second house to which all house members commit.
  • Those who prefer can move to the second house and advertising continues to fill both houses.

Subsequent houses
  • Eventually a network of suitable housing is established so that individuals can move between houses until they find the one that really suits.
  • Houses will represent different themes and configurations to suit different living arrangements. Each will have different non core principles pertaining to chemicals, animals, gender and other matters that impact the whole household.
  • Households will be naturally self-monitoring in that a house set up with unreasonable rules will not get the support it needs to continue. People will vote with their feet.

Personal behaviour 

Do's
  • If you wouldn't do it at work, don't do it at home. This covers issues like bathroom and kitchen cleanliness. 
  • Conversations in common areas to exclude politics and religion or anything else that really matters. These are private affairs to be kept private.
  • Live and let live.
  • Do as you would be done by.
  • Rules are made to be broken but you had better have a damned good reason for breaking them.

Don't's
  • No evangelists of any description.
  • No control freaks.
  • No obsessive compulsives. If you are burdened with irrational fears and obsessive behaviours you will find yourself far too stressed living in a group household.
  • No slobs. We want house-mates who are considerate of the needs of others.
  • No smoking in or near the house, but sensible smoking OK in safe areas outside.

A word on relationships

Relationships are where households go wrong if a few basic rules are not observed.
  • No co-dependencies. Read up on co-dependent, independent and interdependent. These households will only work with independent people willing to be interdependent with house-mates to improve personal circumstances, but not co-dependent.
  • Understand the boundaries imposed by other members of the household that are not to be crossed. Shared households often do not work because house-mates place personal demands on one another that cross those boundaries. No personal demands. No "therapising". No interfering with another's right to make their own decisions and be the person they have chosen to be. No believing you know best.
  • If one person does interfere with the rights of others to lead their own private lives, that person can be asked by the group to leave. Typical behaviours that can lead to this include excess use of drugs or alcohol, excess personal dependency, spiritual evangelism and other manifestations of co dependent behaviours and the need to dominate.

What comes next? 

 House or land purchase co-operatives
  • Those who want can form a house or land purchase co-operative.
  • That co-operative may purchase property on a share basis to add to the network.
  • Eventually we have a network of "safe havens" for single people throughout the country, some leased and some being purchased on a share basis, some city, some country, some rural.

Business co-operatives
  • Those who want to can share skills and expertise to build businesses and keep the income flowing once paid employment is too hard to obtain or maintain.

Why all the rules?

Are there too many rules? I have received some very abusive responses from men who call me all manner of names, the least of which is "control freak". On the other hand many women have responded because they like the rules. These rules are designed to protect residents from harassment and exploitation by anyone else. Few women find them unusual or unacceptable. They find them "normal".