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Homeward Bound? Searching for home in Inner Sydney's share houses

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Share house living arrangements are increasingly popular for young Australians as a result of a variety of economic and social changes such as the declining affordability of home ownership and delayed and decreasing marriage rates. Despite this rise, share housing is little researched. This paper considers the idea of 'home' as it exists in Inner Sydney's share houses, by examining the motivations underlying the decision to live in a share house as well as the relationships between housemates, in a sample of households. Share housing was utilised mainly as a response to social factors, such as the attraction of the lifestyle and something of a rite of passage, but was also shaped by economic considerations. Share housing was viewed by most people as transitional yet still meaningful. The vast majority considered their current dwelling to be 'home', mainly as a result of the intimacy of relationships between housemates, and the attainment of a sense of comfort and equality.

Keywords: Share housing; Sydney; family; home; transition

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Sydney, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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