Categories: social, governance
What? A retirement home in Holland is offering rent-free accommodation to college students in exchange for spending time with senior residents. The initiative, by the retirement home Humanitas, began in 2012 in response to a major shortage of student housing and the Dutch government's cuts to funding for elder care. Students living rent-free at Humanitas must spend 30-hours a month in social activities with the seniors. This has been an effective way of improving quality of life for everyone involved.
So what? The Humanitas initiative is one of many recent innovations in social services that involves greater intergenerational mixing and points to how living and family arrangements may change in the future. From the standpoint of labour and social policy it is an example of how meeting individuals' basic needs, in this case by providing student housing, can contribute to collective wellbeing.