Many older people experience loneliness. At the same time, young people may feel isolated after moving away from the family home or, in the case of many young refugees, due to language barriers and cultural changes. Helsingborgshem (Sweden) launched the SällBo project to bring these groups of people together in multigenerational living.

The SällBo project aims to combat loneliness and promote social cohesion through mutual support. It is a multigenerational living space with social life at its centre. Residents are encouraged to meet and exchange with each other in a variety of indoor and outdoor social spaces.

  • 60% of the dwellings in the SällBo project target older tenants
  • 20% target young people
  • 20% target young refugees and former unaccompanied refugee children

SällBo: a multigenerational living space with social life at its centre.

What is innovative about the SällBo way?

For many people, the idea of co-living is new! The SällBo team handpicks the tenants to help foster social cohesion and create a community feel. Therefore, interested people must apply and undergo a personal interview. One of the most unique aspects of the SällBo community is that every tenant chosen is as different as possible from the other tenants. That’s what makes the experience so enriching and rewarding for everybody living there.  

For the community to thrive, the people that live at SällBo should have a curious personality, be willing to learn new things, and be prepared to share their own knowledge and experiences. Indeed, sharing is at the heart of SällBo. Involvement in social life is included in the tenants’ contracts. Each person must commit to at least two hours of socialising per week and must attend monthly meetings.

Has the multigenerational living project been successful?

The SällBo project has been a great success with outstanding results from tenant surveys. The social spaces of SällBo are thriving. These include an activities room, dining room, garden, workshop, and library, and more.

SällBo is a celebration of diversity, open mindedness, and generosity. Tenants can exchange their life skills and experiences. For instance, older tenants can help young refugees acquire Swedish language skills, while younger residents help to alleviate loneliness and transfer digital skills.

Find out more

To find out more on this initiative, please contact the organisation’s Coordinator through the Members Only Zone.