My Dream Project – Co-housing for Senior SoloWomen
Building a co-housing project for Senior Women is my Dream Project. It’s been a passion of mine for several years. It is on something I don’t call my “Bucket List”, but others might consider it so.
Let me explain.
Many years ago, a friend of mine found herself on the verge of homelessness, after being bashed and robbed. She was able to move to a public housing unit, and while I was pleased to see her with a safe roof over her head, I was not impressed with the condition of the unit. And even in the 19 years since, it has had almost no maintenance. No modernisation has been done in that time, and there’s an obvious need for work to be done. I get the feeling that a roof over one’s head, even if it is a box, is adequate for senior women on their own.
I do not understand how anyone, let alone a government agency can put an elderly disabled woman in such terrible conditions. She stays because she has no choice.
Older Women are Forgotten
There’s no doubt it is a Man’s World, where there is so much bias against women. Older women are often referred to as the “Forgotten Women”, for there is little support in any way for this cohort, at least in the state that I live. There’s a lot of “chatter” but little action.
There are many reasons for older solo women to be in distress. Often they have left marriages of domestic violence, or are left widowed. These women often do not have adequate finances to either buy or rent a home, are often unable to get work, and there are little or no support services. This cohort, though often homeless are not drug addicts, criminals, or alcoholics. They are women living in poverty.
What do these Women Want?
They want an affordable place to live. They want to live in a community – where they can make friends and work together to make a better life for all. It needs to be safe and secure – oddly this cohort is often targeted by unsavoury men, so they need to know they are safe. Many of these women will work in the community as volunteers but need an affordable home to start with. These women have already had enough trauma in their lives and want to feel safe and secure.
Co-housing in London
In 2018, despite my fragile financial situation, I was able to get to London to explore a recently completed co-housing project in Barnet, north of London. I was so impressed that these women with the support of governments had been able to build a fantastic modern property. Co-housing has been popular in Europe since the 1970s. I can’t see anything negative in such a project. Just follow their instructions!!!
In many of the housing for seniors, they have been dark dingy places, that I am sure would be depressing for the person who lived there. I am surprised how lacking in modern facilities these places often are. “Put them in a box” seems to be the concept. New Ground was light airy, modern, and the residents were all happy and participated in the community concept. My Dream is to provide housing that senior solo women will enjoy for the rest of their lives. If they are happy, they are more likely to keep healthy, thus reducing the cost of health care. The residents help each other, so there are many benefits.
I wonder if I can get this Dream Project off the ground and the women in need, happily residing inside the building.
Are you interested in such a project?