Prague students to live in nursing homes, get cheap rent in exchange for helping seniors

Prague 3 is looking for two students to live cheap in a local retirement home in exchange for helping senior citizens

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 20.08.2019 15:57:17 (updated on 20.08.2019) Reading time: 2 minutes

Here’s one way to beat the inflated rent prices in Prague: get an apartment in a nursing home.

If you’re a local student looking for affordable housing in the Czech capital – and open to interesting offers – then Prague 3 might have just what you’re looking for during a new pilot project that hopes to help out both students and seniors.

The Prague district is currently renting out two apartments in separate nursing homes at prices that seem too good to be true: a 43 square meter apartment on Roháčova street for just over 5,000 crowns per month, and a 22 square meter flat on Krásova for a mere 2,600.

The catch: to net the low-low rents, you’ll also have to invest at least 30 hours per month helping the nursing home’s other residents through activities designed to aid in social integration for its senior citizens.

Prague has borrowed the idea from the town of Karviná in Moravia, where the Archa Community Center has given free room & board to a university student who in turn spends 14 hours a month developing a cultural program for its senior citizen residents.

Similar programs have been a success in other countries across Europe, including France and the Netherlands.

Applicants for the Prague 3 program must be full-time university students in Prague, have a good knowledge of Czech, and a clean criminal record.

If you meet the criteria and are interested in assisting senior citizens in exchange for affordable housing in Prague, an application containing a project plan and activity schedule for the senior citizens can be submitted to the Prague 3 City Hall.

In addition to the activity plan to help increase social activity for the senior citizens, applicants are also urged to give direct assistance such as accompanying seniors for a walk or to the doctor, or helping them with e-mail or other new technologies.

More details about the project, and instructions on how to apply (in Czech) can be found at this link. The city is accepting applications until the end of August.

The Žižkov nursing home isn’t the first intergenerational housing project in Prague; a similar venture that combines young families and senior citizens on Prague 1’s Samcova street has been operating since 2016.

“Everyone can appreciate the housing,” city spokesperson Martin Sebesta told local media.

“Seniors and young parents go to see films, eat together in the common dining room and organize various social and cultural activities.”

Prague 7 and 9 are also planning to implement similar projects.

Prague has also supported a number of other projects aimed to bring young people and the elderly together, including an adopt-a-grandparent Christmas charity drive, a program aimed at teaching senior citizens English, and a recent take-a-senior-for-a-coffee (or beer) project.

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