11 Video Examples & Discussions of Shared Housing Communities from Around the World

While shared housing has a lot of perks, doing it right can be a daunting task.

Personally, I find it helpful to remind myself of all of the successfully shared houses that there are out there. I’ve lived in some myself, and they’re a ton of them out there that I already know about. I also find out about new ones that I’ve never heard of all of the time.

That’s part of why I wanted to share the videos below with you. They’re just inspiring. But there’s another reason too.

People who have had success with shared housing have already been down a road that you may just be beginning. And most of them have learned the hard way what it takes to make this work. By listening to their stories, we can learn what really matters with this sort of thing and get actionable advice to make our own dreams a reality.

Ready to get inspired?

Here are several uplifting stories about thriving shared houses from around the globe.


This first video is of my friends and I living together in Asheville, North Carolina


This video shows the impact that shared housing has on people facing hard times, including homelessness in Dallas, Texas.


A beautiful example of multigenerational shared living from Australia


Australian news report covering examples of senior shared housing in Tazmania


A group of self-sufficient seniors living together in one of four shared homes created in Chicago by the nonprofit Senior Housing Share


Three Boomers aging in community in Ontario Canada


This Japanese example of a shared house features a younger set of housemates, but it’s pretty neat.


There are also some broader discussions of shared housing that look at the movement more deeply.


In Manchester, UK, people old and young discuss the desperate need for shared housing in their community.


Organizers Pat Dunn and Louise Bardswich discuss shared housing within the Aging in Community movement in Canada.


Margaret Manning and Bonnie Moore dig into why so many women over 60 are interested in shared housing.


Finally, I recently filmed a short video of my own covering what I have found works and what doesn’t from my own experiences with shared housing.


If you have found these videos helpful, join the conversation on Facebook.

And if you are ready to dig deeper, I have a next step for you to take.

I recently put together a FREE exercise just for you that I think you’ll find helpful. It’s actually repurposed from my book, Your Quest for Home.

It’s called Casting a Wider Net in 4 Easy Steps. It’s a mind mapping exercise designed to get you heading in the right direction when you are thinking of who might live in your shared house. While it’s designed for folks who are in the planning stage of creating their community, it should be interesting regardless of where you are in your journey.

To receive it, simply enter your email address below, and I’ll get it right to you. And if you decide to put it to work, please let me know! Seriously, I love that kind of feedback.

Sign up below to receive my free exercise for finding your people!

Feeling inspired to take the next step? Great!
Sign up now for my FREE exercise for finding potential community partners, Casting a Wider Net in 4 Easy Steps.

Please note: we do not share or sell your email information.

10 Inspiring Quotes about Shared Housing in Community

I have been collecting quotes lately related to shared housing from figures in the Aging in Community Movement, inspiring writers, and even a couple lines of my own.

If you could use some inspiration or just a shift in perception, I invite you to consider the quotes below. Please feel free to share them with others in your network if you think they’ll find them useful.

“We’re social beings – we’re really not meant to live alone.” – Kirby Dunn, Executive Director of HomeShare Vermont

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou, poet & activist

“The converging factors that are driving increased interest around boomers in shared housing include culture change, health, longevity, and demographics.” – Marianne Kilkenny, Trailblazer, Grand Nudge & Founder of Women Living in Community

“We realize that the prospect of a life change as dramatic as creating a cooperative household could be very scary. It is important to acknowledge your emotional responses from the outset, as you start planning your version of a cooperative household.” Karen M. Bush, Louis S. Machinist, & Jean McQuillin, Authors of My House, Our House

“Across the nation, from Baltimore to Washington State, homeshare programs are cropping up as a way both to provide affordable housing and to help people age in place without being isolated.” – Beth Baker, Author of With a Little Help from Our Friends

“The company, the conversation, the sharing, the communication, the knowledge that some is there. It must be psychological, because life seems easier if you have someone going through it with you.” – Eric Klinberg, Author of Going Solo

“She was struck by the simple truth that sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.” – Nicholas Sparks, Author of The Lucky One

“I come home from a long trip to the West Coast exhausted from the time change and the joys of current air travel. As I turn into my driveway, I see that the lights are drawn. What a welcome sight for a woman living alone. I’m expected! Someone is welcoming me home.” – Marianne Kilkenny, author of You Quest for Home

“Expensive cities can be more affordable in groups.” – The Shared Housing Option

“Everyone has this universal understanding of roommate drama.” – Leighton Meester, actress


If you have found these quotes inspirational and want to share your thoughts, join the conversation on Facebook.

But if you are thinking about living in a shared house or have one already, I have another step for you to take. I am just releasing a FREE exercise just for you. It’s an excerpt from my book on finding your ideal community, Your Quest for Home.

It’s called Casting a Wider Net in 4 Easy Steps. In the exercise, I walk you through a four-part process of creating a mindmap that identifies people in your network who could be a good fit for your community in ever-expanding circles. Even if you are further down the road than the brainstorming stage, you still might find it interesting.

To receive it, simply sign up using the form below, and I’ll get it right to you. And if you decide to put it to work, please let me know! Seriously, I love that kind of feedback.

Sign up below to receive my free exercise for finding your people!

Feeling inspired to take the next step? Great!
Sign up now for my FREE exercise for finding potential community partners, Casting a Wider Net in 4 Easy Steps.

Please note: we do not share or sell your email information.

6 Shared Housing Books that Belong on Your Shelf

Wherever you are on your journey with Aging in Community, chances are that somebody has been there before. When it comes to the option of shared housing, we are lucky enough to have several people who have written some pretty great books about.

Below you’ll find six books that offer different perspectives on what shared housing is all about. Some of them tell the stories of people who have managed to make living with friends under one roof work for them. Others offer practical advice and exercises that you can put to work for yourself.

My House, Our House: Living Far Better for Far Less in a Cooperative Household by Karen M. Bush, Louis S. Machinist, and Jean McQuillin 

my house our house book cover

Authored by three female Boomers with plenty of hands-on experience with shared housing, My House, Our House belongs on the bookshelves of any reader who’s serious about sharing a home with others as they age. 

This book addresses the many challenges and perks of coliving as we age, particularly with other perennial women. The three trail-blazing women share their own journey of creating community with one another under a shared roof and what they learned along the way.

Told with humor, affection, and honesty, this book invites the reader to explore the challenges, practicalities, and joys of moving from “my house” to “our house.” 


If you’d like to learn more about this book, I encourage you to read my blog post spotlighting My House, Our House.

How to Start a Golden Girls Home by Bonnie Moore

One of the most common questions that I get when I share my own experience of living in a real world Golden Girls home is this:

“How can I find a community just like this for myself?”

While there are some ways of finding spaces and roommates for elder women out there, the truth is that most Golden Girls homes are created DIY by the women who want them the most.

That’s why I am so grateful that a book like How to Start a Golden Girls Home is out there. While it doesn’t happen overnight, creating a setting like this for yourself isn’t rocket science. Bonnie Moore shows us all how in this book with a guide that starts with finding the right people through handling sticky situations like pets and conflicts. 

Sharing Housing: A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates by Annamarie Pluhar

“Everyone has this universal understanding of roommate drama,” as actress Leighton Meester put it in one of my favorite quotes about shared housing.

Annamarie Pulmar knows this well, which may have been why she designed her book to serve as “a guidebook for finding and keeping good housemates.” It definitely delivers on this premise. 

Within the pages the reader will find concrete, actionable advice, such as: 

  • How to eliminate inappropriate people quickly and safely
  • How to write an ad
  • How to negotiate the details of living together
  • What kind of background checks and references are helpful

The book continues with chapters on actually living together what to expect and how to manage.

Your Quest for Home by Marianne Kilkenny

While it’s about more than just shared housing, I’m including my own book on this list because it offers relevant material that other books leave out. 

Your Quest for Home is designed to provide readers with a roadmap for taking ownership of their own journey with Aging in Community. It serves as a guidebook for figuring out what you are looking for in a community and how to find it.

When it comes to shared housing, far too many sit around waiting for the perfect opportunity to fall in their lap, which rarely happens. If you are ready to take the initiative and start finding the people you want to live with and figure out how, when, and where you’re going to make that happen, I encourage you to pick up a copy of your own.

Shared Living: Interior Design for Rented and Shared Spaces by Emily Hutchinson

Released in late 2019, Emily Hutchinson’s new book tackle’s another important topic to shared housing: optimizing the physical spaces that we share together. 

She wrote her book specifically for people who are currently living with roommates or are planning on doing it in the near future. And she covers just about every issue that I can think of when it comes to sharing residential spaces, such as merging styles and identifying what matters most when you are looking for a space.

Understanding that many people choose to live in shared housing in part for economic reasons, she also offers some practical advice on making the most of what you have, DIY interior design options from scratch, and sourcing one-of-a-kind elements by upcycling and finding great deals. 

Shared Living also offers a ton of examples of what roommates have come up with from around the country, including an impressive number of color illustrations.  

The Ladies of Covington Series by Joan Medlicott

Written by local author Joan Medlicott (one of my favorite people) from here in my home city of Asheville, the Ladies of Covington books occupy a special place in my heart. 

Starting with The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love, the entire series is an inspiring delight. Join this household of elder women as they make their way from a sad Pennsylvania boardinghouse to create a home for themselves in the mountains of western North Carolina. 

These books are a part of a literary genre referred to as Matron Lit, a subcategory of Boomer Lit, where older women are the primary protagonists. The Ladies of Covington Series is a favorite among fans for showing strong women choosing to live together to enhance their lives and relationships.

If you have found these books helpful yourself or know of others, join the conversation on Facebook.

If you are thinking about living in a shared house or have one already, I have another step for you to take.

I have released a FREE exercise just for you. It’s an excerpt from my book on finding your ideal community, Your Quest for Home.

It’s called Casting a Wider Net if 4 Easy Steps, and it’s designed to help you identify potential community collaborators in your network. In the exercise, I walk you through a four-part process of creating a mindmap that identifies people in your network who could be a good fit for your community in ever-expanding circles. Even if you are further down the road than the brainstorming stage, you still might find it interesting.

To receive it, simply sign up using the form below, and I’ll get it right to you. And if you decide to put it to work, please let me know! Seriously, I love that kind of feedback.

Sign up below to receive my free exercise for finding your people!

Feeling inspired to take the next step? Great!
Sign up now for my FREE exercise for finding potential community partners, Casting a Wider Net in 4 Easy Steps.

Please note: we do not share or sell your email information.

Classic Golden Girls Moments – Women Living in Community that Were Ahead of Their Time

The Golden Girls is a classic TV sitcom that has stood the test of time like few others. Watching it today, it’s amazing how well it has aged with its fully realized characters and pitch-perfect punchline delivery.

The show has also become a touchstone in the aging in community movement, frequently being cited as an example of senior coliving that resonates deeply for many of us. While living in shared housing can be more complex and challenging than the Golden Girls reflects, it’s also something that many elders have been able to work for them in real life, including myself.

But these women living in community in their Florida bungalow were ahead of their time in other ways as well. They took on the challenging issues of their day and shared points of view that are just as deeply resonate today as they were when they first aired.

Below are six great examples of The Golden Girls showing themselves to be a true example of women living in community that was ahead of their time. Fair warning: A couple of these clips are real tearjerkers.

The community accepts a new community member with Sophia’s arrival in Episode 1.


AIDS is not a bad person disease, Rose.


Blanche thinks she sees what Sophia is getting at about gay marriage…


Dorothy and Blanche confront Rose about her pain pill addiction.


Sophia talks with someone considering suicide like a friend. Like a best friend.


Condoms, condoms, condoms…


The Golden Girls legacy is part of my story as well, which you can learn more about in this interview I gave with NBC a few years ago.


If you have found these clips entertaining or have your own moments to share, join the conversation on Facebook.

Are you ready to take the next step in creating a real-life Golden Girls household of your own?

One common obstacle that I hear about from people who want to age in community but don’t know where to start is that they feel like they don’t know how to find the right people to live with.

That’s why I’ve put together the free download that you’ll find below, Casting a Wider Net in 4 Easy Steps.

In it you will find an exercise from my book, Your Quest for Home, that’s designed to help you think outside the box about how to find potential community members. It’s a simple guide for creating an expanding mind map of possibilities that you can complete in a single sitting.

If you’re up for the challenge, please take a moment to access the exercise now. And if you put it to work for yourself, please let me know!

Sign up below to receive my free exercise for finding your people!

Feeling inspired to take the next step? Great!
Sign up now for my FREE exercise for finding potential community partners, Casting a Wider Net in 4 Easy Steps.

Please note: we do not share or sell your email information.

I’ve Moved! Why and what does this mean for WLIC?

IMAG1836

Welcome to my house!

NOTE: This is Part 1 of My Journey update. Part 2 coming next week.

I’ve moved!

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile. I’ve explored many opportunities, some that came to me and some that I sought out.  I reviewed each of them but for one reason or another, they didn’t seem to fit or be the right thing at the right moment.

What about this move made it the right thing to do and how does my move fit in with Women for Living in Community? After all, a big part of my story has been my shared housing arrangement that I’ve been living in for the last 4 years, often referred to as the “Golden Girl” lifestyle.  (Click here for related blogs about ‘Golden Girls’ style living)

What I am doing now is expanding the shared housing concept in a mini-pocket neighborhood.

Shared housing is a very important and a viable, wonderful, life fulfilling learning experience for anyone who is seeking a better way of living as we age.  A mini-pocket neighborhood is an expansion of the shared housing concept. Imagine if the Golden Girls ladies lived in a neighborhood made up of other shared housing homes.  That’s what I am in the process of developing for myself.

My shared mini-pocket neighborhood

My new home and land are a perfect setting for me to take in housemates (I will have a part-time housemate for now).  I will also be sharing a larger piece of property and another house with a friend, essentially creating a mini-pocket neighborhood.  Already, opportunities are expanding.  There is another house on the property who is interested in possibly living as a mini-pocket neighborhood. Hope, hope,….

Will this be my last move?

Since moving to Asheville and launching Women for Living in Community, I have moved 7 times.  My moving has, in a way, been “on the job” training for me as I have explored various alternatives to living in community in order to find the right one. (Sure has given me good stories for my talks too!) I have learned something new about myself and the types of arrangements – all lessons I have shared with you and the Women for Living in Community network. While I hope this is it, I cannot say what the future holds. This move actually signals another important change and development in my life.

A Look Back: Over the Years slideshow:


The Next Chapter

In many ways this move has also signaled a turning point for Women for Living in Community.  More on that in Part 2 of My Journey update.

The 5 Biggies in Community

4852557322_4e2bd72482_o

When I teach workshops about building community I make sure I talk about some of the small details that can turn into huge problems. Many people don’t even think of these things when they are getting started. These can destroy friendships and even marriages. And when it comes to living with housemates you may not know well these small problems can easily become amplified. If you’re considering sharing a single household with several other people here are the 5 biggies that you should consider.

[Read more…]

The Blessings of Housemates: When Community Becomes More

Just over a month ago, on July 11th, the article in the New York Times was published. I spent the weekend basking in the glow of the new attention being paid to the Women for Living in Community movement.

But that all changed on Monday.

I woke up to neck and arm pain so excruciating, I immediately thought it may be a stroke or heart attack. My pain was similar to the warning signs of women in my age group. The more I writhed around on the floor in intense pain the more I realized that I needed help. Because of my shared household, help was only 5 feet away in our common kitchen where my housemate was standing.

[Read more…]

Expensive Cities Can Be More Affordable in Groups

Image by Anne Fitten Glenn via Flickr

Image by Anne Fitten Glenn via Flickr

Recently, my city of Asheville was listed in a Yahoo Finance article about the 10 cities where ordinary people can no longer afford homes. There are major changes in the real estate market, especially considering that just a few short years ago individual home owners weren’t able to sell their homes without taking a loss or needing to consider a short sale. It just goes to show how quickly things change.

While the article talks about the increasing mortgage rates across the United States it doesn’t seem to indicate the other factors that make these particular cities less affordable. Could it be pay inequality or the higher cost of living? In any case, it may be time to reconsider the way American’s buy homes in the first place.

I have a radical idea for individuals who want to buy homes in these areas: Community Living.

[Read more…]

Sharing Resources: Using a Time Bank in Your Household

Have you ever heard of a Time Bank?

Many communities are establishing formal time banks. At this year’s Ignite Asheville event, speaker Thomas Beckett shared some information on the concept.

The idea is pretty simple. You exchange your skills and time for other people’s skills and time. And what better way to implement this than within your community living environment.

Many of the resources you will read when it comes to time banks are about a formal establishment; however, bartering your time with that of your housemates doesn’t have to be any more formal than a verbal agreement. Consider these ways to create a time bank in your home.

Click below to read some the ways you can make this happen.

[Read more…]

Community Care Givers: Caring for Each Other as We Age

Cancer. Alzheimer’s disease. Heart disease. These are just a few of the things that we may face as we age. We don’t like to think about our own mortality and the things that can affect us, but it is important to have a plan in place if something does happen, not only for ourselves but also for those we care about.

I believe that living in community is a better solution than nursing homes or other forms of elder care.

Our culture tends to perceive caregivers as individuals who care for sick or dying family members. Mothers can care for children with terminal illnesses. Daughters can care for their parents stricken by dementia. Some elder women don’t have anyone to care for them at all. What if we came together to care for each other? We can change the perception of caregivers.

photo credit: Rosie O’Beirne via photopin cc

Click below to read more ideas about caretakers living in community.

[Read more…]

Women For Living in Community