The growing housing unaffordability is forcing people to take on unconventional pathways and experiment with alternate means of ‘home’-making. This research explores opportunities for making ‘home’ that emerge from practices of house-sitting among older people, particularly those with no permanent housing. Findings from semi-structured interviews suggest that house-sitting is an affordable shelter that provides rent-free accommodation for older people experiencing financial insecurity and increases their capacity for care-related expenditure. However, it is not a viable option in the long term, due to the unstable and insecure nature of house-sitting and the increasing health issues of people as they age. Our findings stress that the meaning of home is multifaceted and complex. While ‘home’ can still be perceived as a source of ontological security by many, it is observed as a ‘nomadic’ and ‘fluid’ concept that could change over time/space, mainly by people that have chosen or were forced to house-sit on a full-time basis. The findings of this research can shed light on house-sitting, as a growing house-sharing model that is largely under-researched and informs housing policy-makers and researchers.
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