Single Parent Housing
Paul became a single parent when his daughter was four years old. He was in the military and worked unpredictable hours, so he knew if he wanted to keep his daughter, he was going to have to have a great support group. Lucky for him, his best friend was stationed in the same expensive area, and he agreed to live with Paul to help him with rent and to help take care of Paul’s little one. Many newly single parents worry about housing and raising little ones alone, but that does not have to be the case. We will discuss what the average single-parent home looks like, and the different ways single parents can provide a home for their child or children.
What does the average single-parent home look like?
According to the U.S. Census, the United States has the highest number of single-parent families in the world. Thirty percent of families, or 10 million households, are led by a single parent. Out of these, more than 80% are led by mothers. The average-single mother makes a little over $49,000 a year with more than 23% living in poverty. It can be assumed that most single parents live in smaller homes compared to married couples.
Housing Options for Single Parents
When becoming a single parent, one of the first worries that they may have is how they will provide for their family. Fortunately, single parents not only have a ton of government and local resources and grants but there are so many other options as well.
Choose to Live with Family
Families can be some of the best support someone may need when first becoming a single parent. Having grandparents or other family members help with the daily life of raising a family can be just what one needs as they are trying to get back on their feet.
There are a few things that should be considered when choosing to live with family. First, make sure there is enough space for the single-parent and children in the family’s home. Ideally, the single parent would have their own room and the children theirs. Having a space of you’re their own is important, especially after going through a huge life adjustment. If there is not enough space for everyone to live comfortably, then the single parent may want to reconsider.
Next, single parents should make sure they are surrounding themselves with positive family members. Newly single parents are going to need all the positive support they can get and if they are around people that are negative or want to micro-manage, then it can really bring down the single parent that needs to be strong at the moment.
Staying with family can really be helpful for both the single parent and the children, but parents do need to consider if the family has enough space for everyone and if they are a positive influence.
Choose to Rent with a Roommate
Single parents may feel that roommates are for the younger generation, but the truth is there are many mature individuals, including other single parents, looking for roommates as well.
There are a few things single parents should consider when looking for a roommate. First, focus on finding a roommate that has similar interests or qualities. Ideally, a single parent would room with a friend they already know and trust; however, that is not always an option. There are many single-parent support groups that are local and that could be a great place to find a roommate. Other single parents with kids around the same age as their own can be the perfect roommate.
Second, make sure the house the single parent would like to move into with a roommate is big enough for their family and their roommate’s family. Each adult should have their own room and, ideally, each child should have their own.
Third, if a single parent did not know the roommate previously, it is best to do background checks and get references. As a single parent, the first priority should be the safety of the kids and themselves, so being extra cautious in who they are moving into is very normal.
Getting a roommate can help a single-parent get a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood, but parents should also make sure the roommate shares the same qualities, that the house is spacious for everyone, and that the place is safe.
Choose to Buy a House with a Partner
Buying a house is an investment, and many single parents think that something that great is unattainable. However, buying a house with a partner is simple, easy, and affordable. Partners can be anyone from friends to other single parents.
When Holly Harper separated from her husband of seventeen years, she thought she would never own a house again. After living in an apartment for a year, she and her friend who was another single mother decided they wanted to purchase a home together. They put aside what a normal household should look like and sought out their perfect dream home.
Just like renting, there are a few things that a single parent should think about before choosing to commit to something so big with another individual. Some of those things can include political stance, parenting style, finances, and lifestyle in general. Another thing to consider is the type of property they would like. Sharing a home that is meant for a single family is very different than buying a home that is meant for multiple families.
Holly Harper and her friend decided on a multifamily home. Each family has its own living space, yet they are close enough to still support one another and help out. The best thing about owning is it is normally cheaper than renting and at the end of the day, you own a house that with help you invest in the future.
Resources for Single Parents
There are many great resources that can help single-parent families find homes, financial support, and moral support. Whether you are looking to rent, own, or live with family, finding local and online support can help single parents find other like-minded individuals going through the same situation as themselves. Support groups could also help single parents find their next roommate or co-homeowner.
Online Support Groups
Support groups for single parents can help bring together those in a similar situation to help with advice and support. Finding support groups are easy as ever with many online groups available. Facebook has many Single Parent groups that can easily be found by just using Facebook’s search tool. There are also websites that offer forums for single parents like SupportGroups.com or DailyStrength.org.
Local Support Groups
Many locations have in-person support groups as well. These groups can be formal as counselor-led groups or informal like meetups. SingleAndParenting.org was founded to help parents with not just parenting but healing during separation as well. This group offers online courses and local support. Parents Without Partners is another organization that helps support those raising kids on their own. This group is run by volunteers and has local meetups that include dinners out and hiking retreats. Meet Up is another website that offers an array of groups to join and meet up with those that may be in the same situation. This group has everything from soccer fan meetups to single-parent meetups.