The rental market in Munich is notoriously tough for tenants. Both finding and paying for a Wohnung is tough for most, particularly younger people at the lower end of the pay scale; students, apprentices, and those in their first job. Seniorentreff Neuhausen has provided a novel solution by placing young people in homes with the elderly.

The scheme works on a barter basis. One square metre of housing for an hour of work every month. That means a 20 square meter room results in five hours of work a week. This work includes shopping, chores, doctors, the ever necessary visits to civil offices and even help with communication.

The scheme focuses on students, many of them foreigners who would otherwise be unable to finance their stays here or even find apartments for the time they are here. Applicants come from countries such as Brazil, China, Canada and England, as well as within Munich itself.

The benefits of the scheme vary and are not only financial. Many older people live in houses or apartments that are much too big for them to feel at home in. Having an extra person gives them that comfort at night when things get quiet. Sharing it also spreads the heating and maintenance costs (which are paid by both tenants on a square metre basis) which in turn is also better for the environment.

While there can be conflicts between the younger and older generations, applicants are vetted thoroughly and regular communication ensures that both parties are happy with the arrangement.

For more information call the Seniorentreff Neuhausen e.V. on +49 89 16 80 60 or email them at

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