New communities combine affordable housing, sense of purpose

New Life Village is an intergenerational community in Tampa which offers affordable housing to older adults. In exchange, the residents support families trying to create permanent homes for children impacted by foster care or other trauma, Yahoo Finance reported.

It solves many problems — loneliness in seniors and the need for stability in children who are often shuffled from home to home.

Cynthia Atkins-Owens, 75, was afraid she would lose her independence and be forced to live with a relative after her apartment complex raised her $1,200 monthly rent by $464.

Today, Cynthia lives in a two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhouse with a patio. Her front porch provides daily interaction with neighbors and children, and her Social Security check covers the $985 rent, according to Yahoo Finance.

The housing model is gaining ground with similar communities springing up all across America. Intentional, intergenerational communities are helping to support foster or adoptive parents or injured veterans or young adults with disabilities such as autism, the report explained.

“We isolate our seniors, people with disabilities and those who need affordable housing. This model brings them together,” said Melissa Rosenberg, with the Autism Society of Maryland.

Charles Durrett, who is 68 himself, has helped design 61 co-housing communities in the United States and Canada. Residents of the community often share costs by doing simple things, like buying common supplies in bulk.

For example, in one community, 34 homes share a $235 monthly tab for internet access compared to the $95 each resident would typically pay on their own.

At New Life Village, resident Ruthie Neal, 84, has become devoted to a couple and their three sibling sons who were adopted from the foster care system. Not only did her rent drop from $3,100 to just $998 per month, she loves being around children.

“All the children in the neighborhood know who Miss Ruthie is,” she told Yahoo Finance. “I talk to them, I play with them. They trust me and I love them. This place is beautiful!”

The full story is available at Yahoo Finance.