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Students can live in this Dutch development for free if they hang out with seniors

The cost of rent is engaging with seniors for 30 hours a month

With the world’s population getting older and older and more young adults unable to afford living away from home, a new housing model just might strike the perfect balance between socially supporting seniors and offering affordable rents for young people. Humanitas Deventer is a senior-living home where students can live rent-free if they hang out with senior residents for 30 hours each month.

The younger residents can fulfill their "good neighbor" hours by having meals with older residents, engaging them in conversation, or even teaching them about the ins and outs of Snapchat. Naturally, over time the younger and older residents form friendships and improve each others’ lives.

"Learning from each other has become a lot more easier," said Jurriën Mentink, a student resident who has lived at Humanitas for three years. "We teach them how to operate a tablet and use Facebook. We as students bring the outside world in... On their own terms, [the seniors] tell us their own personal war stories."

The program has existed since 2012 and typically has five younger residents living with Humanitas’ older residents.