Living in a shared house doesn’t have to be a last resort

Julia Park

There is nothing wrong with sharing a home providing it has been designed for the purpose and is affordable

Most students experience the highs and lows of flat- or house-sharing. I shared a series of pretty squalid houses; first in Cardiff where I studied, and then in London when I started work. Even with mostly pretty good flat mates, eight years of sticky floors, washing up before cooking as well as after, queuing for the bathroom and being subjected to music I hated was more than enough.

This was the late seventies/early eighties. Desperate to be on my own and having managed to save £1,500 for a deposit on a flat I booked an appointment with the building society. I was told to come back when I’d doubled it. My parents weren’t in a position to help so I moved to the smallest, cheapest room I could find and went back a year later with £3,000 and a slightly higher salary. It was enough to buy the bottom half of a semi in Hounslow.

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