Research and Publications

New article on house-sitting and ‘home’-making among older people published in Australian Geographer by Sara Alidoust and Fahimeh Khalaj

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.

Download the full paper: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/D9ZIXCYPXNI9EKRA7GBW/full?target=10.1080/00049182.2021.1999612

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