For Emil Bostrom and Jonatan Shaya, living independently in Helsinki has not been an easy accomplishment. Emil, aged 24 and a kindergarten teacher, struggled to find housing because of the high cost of rent and not enough apartments.
"Basically, I was homeless; not on the street, but homeless," said Emil.
According to The Global Property Guide, Helsinki is the 16th most-expensive city in the world to rent an apartment in - even more expensive than New York.
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Emil and Jonatan, who is 19 and a pastry chef student, were among 300 applicants for a new housing program called "A Home That Fits," which provides people under 25cheap housing in a senior's home for a year. Each young resident must spend at least three to five hours in the company of the elders each week, socializing and conversing.
It's not the first program of its kind. In the Netherlands, a program offers free accommodation to college students in order to encourage social interaction with elders. With so many cities across the globe facing an increase in demand, the project may be spread further.
So far, the Helsinki's program has been off to a successful start and Emil and Jonatan are thoroughly enjoying their new homes and new neighbors.
"Because I work with children, and I have friends that are my age and then with elderly, I get to basically see the whole spectrum of ages in Finland," said Emil. "Through that, I can understand the Finnish culture better and just life, I guess. It's cool that I can get to know people of all ages."
Watch the video at the top to get the whole story.
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