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Housing and ageing in France and Germany: the intergenerational solution

Anne Labit (Institute of Technology, University of Orléans, Orléans, France)
Nathalie Dubost (Institute of Business Administration, University of Orléans, Orléans, France)

Housing, Care and Support

ISSN: 1460-8790

Article publication date: 6 June 2016

Abstract

Purpose

In France and Germany, intergenerational housing is put forward as an option by public authorities. This kind of housing scheme seems like a good solution for seniors and young people, from both an economic and a social point of view. But beyond this common philosophy, there are differences in the way intergenerational housing is being implemented in the two countries. France mainly favours the student-senior home-sharing model whereas the intergenerational collaborative housing (co-housing) model based on solidarity between seniors and families is gaining ground in Germany. The purpose of this paper is to explore the reasons for these differences and present results from field surveys conducted in both countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The qualitative methodology of the field surveys consisted essentially of semi-structured interviews with the young people and seniors living in these types of housing, in order to understand how they experienced intergenerational solidarity.

Findings

The authors’ surveys revealed that certain conditions are essential for this intergenerational solidarity to be fully effective, notably voluntary participation and commitment to the project, and possibly external support to ensure that it is designed and implemented in the best possible way.

Originality/value

This paper provides useful recommendations for decision makers who wish to support this type of housing concept based on intergenerational solidarity.

Keywords

Citation

Labit, A. and Dubost, N. (2016), "Housing and ageing in France and Germany: the intergenerational solution", Housing, Care and Support, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 45-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/HCS-08-2016-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited