roommates Colette senior students housing

Colette, the response to the student housing crisis

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The start-up Colette aims to promote intergenerational colocation between students and young workers and seniors. The objectives are thus to fight against the loneliness of seniors and to make unused rooms profitable while offering an affordable and solidarity solution to young people. Students thus offer a significant alternative in terms of their budget, security and time saved thanks to Colette. The health crisis has also created student precariousness,some are not able to pay for housing and are therefore forced to stop their studies.

The Covid-19 health crisis has thus had a strong impact on the housing market throughout France. Indeed, the shutdown of certain sectors of activity has reduced the purchasing power of households and all the more so among young people.

Colette, intergenerational colocation for students

Colette is a startup that connects students and seniors to promote the practice of intergenerational colocation. Founded in 2019 by Matthieu Vaxelaire,Colette has two objectives. The first is to make the unoccupied rooms in seniors’ housing profitable,while meeting the housing needs of students and young workers. Thus, it allows them to enjoy quality housing, at an affordable and supportive price.

Indeed, Colette is therefore a response to the loneliness of seniors, while providing them with a complementary income. On the side of young people, the goal is to facilitate access to housing, being very complicated both in terms of budget and time spent looking. Colette is aimed at young people under 30 and seniors over 60. Each host validates the young person’s request in advance and the start-up accompanies the process from start to finish.

Colette intergenerational shared apartment solidarity housing
Colette helps fight against the loneliness of seniors while offering affordable housing to young people.

A few weeks before the start of the academic year, more than 2.8 million young people are preparing to resume classes. Among them, many students need housing to complete their school year. Nevertheless, this is not a part won in advance in view of their low budget and the few goods on the market. The housing crisis has been all the more marked by the health crisis. Rents have risen while the purchasing power of young people has fallen sharply.

This is how Colettecomes into play, in order to offer an alternative that is both economic and solidarity. On average, thanks to the start-up, students and young workers take 12 days to find accommodation,for an average price of €580 per month in Paris. Precious time saved as well as savings made. In addition, each accommodation and host undergo prior screening to ensure the safety of young people.

Health crisis and housing, young people online mir

The pandemic has had a strong impact on housing in France. Indeed, during the health crisis, some activities were shut down and employees did not receive their usual salary in full. This has therefore had a strong impact on their purchasing power and their ability to pay their rents. Thus, according to the survey conducted by Ipsos, 13% of respondents said they had difficulty paying for their housing. Thus, this figure is all the more visible among young people, with 20% of anyone under 30 surveyed. These students and young workers who could not pay their rent were forced to return their homes. Some have been forced to stop their current studies for purely financial reasons.

As a result, the crisis has widened housing inequalities. Precariousness has thus intensified because of short-time working or even layoffs caused by lockdowns and the reduction in activity. The permanent presence of entire families in the dwellings has thus increased expenditure. This concerned in particular energy and food expenditure.

These consequences had an impact on the moment but are also long-lasting. Indeed, they were transcribed during the year 2021 and created great concerns for the most fragile. It is for this reason that solutions such as those proposed by Colette are put in place. Supporting and accompanying young people and the most impacted is a major challenge.


Back to university and housing crisis: intergenerational colocation, an alternative for students,Colette, press release of 26 July 2021

Covid-19: 14% of French people have had difficulties related to housing following the crisis,Ipsos, 2 February 2020

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