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Hot topic: single parent house sharing

As property prices remain out of reach for many, a break up can leave lots of newly single parents looking for a new, smaller property to rent. But finding somewhere convenient and affordable to house you and your children can be a struggle. That’s why more and more single mums and dads are joining forces, and moving in together.

Websites like Space 4 exist to help hook up single mums and dads. Not to date one another, but to live together. ‘SPACE4 is an online database of single parents who are looking to either share a house with another single parent, or to contact other one parent families in their area with a view to sharing childcare and babysitting duties,’ the site explains.

Like so many good ideas, the site was born out of experience. Two friends, both with two-year-old daughters, separated from their partners within weeks of each other. It didn’t take long to work out that what you can afford as a single parent is a lot less that when you join forces with a partner. But who says that partner has to be male?

The girls moved in to a four-bedroom house together, and found themselves paying $100 less per week than if they were renting a tiny apartment on their own.
Living with another single mum doesn’t just help financially. It can also be an emotional support too. Having another woman around the house to chat to, to help out with the laundry and house-work, babysitting and school runs… it’s just easier than doing it alone.

‘Two of the major problems faced by single parents are financial and emotional. By combining resources and sharing a house together, two single parent families are able to afford improved living conditions, as well as being able to provide each other with emotional support and advice,’ the site says.

In 2011, just under 20 percent of children under 15 lived with a single parent. And as more single women choose to become lone parents by either adopting or with a sperm donor, this number is set to rise. Although it may not be the ‘norm’ today, with so many benefits, sharing a home with another single mum could quite quickly catch on.

If sharing the load with another single mum sounds like a great idea to you, then there are plenty of resources out there to help you. Although Space4 is Australia’s leading single parent site for house sharing, you can also find potential new homes and housemates listed on Gumtree, the Australian Single Mother’s Forum, and SingleMum.com.au.

But if you’re moving in with someone you don’t know, don’t forget to take precautions. Before you give out any personal information, it’s important to verify the identity of anyone who contacts you as a prospective housemate.

What’s your opinion? Have you shared the load with another single mum or dad? Would you be willing to move in with another single parent, or are you just little bit wary?

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About the Author

Lizzy has more than ten years’ experience in the print and digital publishing arena and is the Editor at Single File. Having moved from the UK to Australia in 2008, Lizzy has worked for a number of leading publishers in Sydney and has particular expertise in the health, wellness and travel markets. If you have any questions for Lizzy, you can send them across by email to lizzy@singlefile.com.au.



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