This innovative housing project helps end loneliness by inspiring people to living better together.
COMBATING LONELINESS WITH COMPANIONSHIP
SällBo is a multicultural and multigenerational living space in Helsingborg. The name of the project relates to the Swedish words for companionship (sällskap) and living (bo), which describes the project's goals to combat loneliness and promote social cohesion by giving residents incentives and space for social interaction. SällBo aims to create a new way of living where generations and cultures can meet within the social life of the centre.
INTEGRATING IMMIGRANTS AND REDUCING ISOLATION
The project is administered by Helsingsborgshem, a not-for-profit housing company funded by the municipality. In Sweden, young people start to live by themselves earlier than anywhere in Europe which continues up to older ages. Isolation is a huge health problem, and is especially prevalent among retirees. In 2015, many refugees arrived and Helsingsborgshem needed to increase the amount of available housing. In order to integrate newly arrived immigrants and to combat loneliness among older people, a plan was developed to bring these groups together.
MUTUAL SUPPORT AND SOCIAL INTERACTION
While the elderly can help the newly arrived with language skills and gaining a driving license, younger residents can help with modern technology and social media. According to the first survey that was sent out to residents, 94% responded that their expectations of the accommodation were reached, about 88% said that social interaction was one of the reasons why they chose to move to SällBo and 49% said it was the availability of the communal areas.