Co-housing arrangement pairs low-income families with elderly homeowners in need of care

Shared-housing-initiative-Alfafar

[image credit: NPR]

Great Recession leaves many people without homes or jobs

The housing market crash of 2008 devastated many local economies, leaving some areas significantly depopulated. The Spanish town of Alfafar, for example, has experienced vacancy rates exceeding 40%, as the local timber industry has dried up.

Solution: Existing residents trade housing for services

A barter economy has emerged in Alfafar. Elderly residents will trade rooms for rent, in return for assisted living. Others trade for guitar lessons, cooking, and other services. Given the massive unemployment, there is plenty of untapped labor available, and by connecting these people with apartment vacancies, the city is able to house the unemployed.

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Category: Housing

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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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