Feminists Redefine Senior Housing
Fifteen years in the making, the Babayagas’ House—a feminist alternative to a retirement home—has opened in Paris. This self-managed social housing project is run by its community of inspired female senior citizens that want to maintain their independence. “To live long is a good thing, but to age well is better,” says 85-year-old Thérèse Clerc, who initially conceived the project as a means of combating the idea that growing old is an illness and that retirement homes are a kind of prison. “We want to change the way people see old age, and that means learning to live differently,” she says.
The five-story building houses 25 apartments located at the center of Montreuil, just blocks away from shops, a movie theater and the metro. The project cost just under $4.4 million and was funded by eight public sources, including the city council. Two similar projects are now underway in Palaiseau and Bagneux.