- The French start-up Commune, launched a year and a half ago, has decided to specialize in "coliving", a kind of giant and multiservice flatshare, for single-parent families.
- A 600 m2 unit, in a building under rehabilitation in the Yvelines, and another of 1,200 m2, under construction in the Nord department, will be inaugurated by the end of the year.
- "Especially close to big tense cities, the attraction of coliving and its more attractive rates is important for single-parent families because they are disadvantaged compared to couples who have two salaries," explains the co-founder of Commune.
All week in Cannes, where global real estate players gathered for Mipim, "coliving", a kind of giant and multi-service flatshare, confirmed its incredible rise since the pandemic. A trend, a priori part to stretch in the long term, that the French start-up Commune, launched a year and a half ago, has decided to specialize. In a few months, it will open its first two shared residences for single-parent families. A first in the world.
"When we looked at the market, we realized that no structure was directly dedicated to them, even though they represent 25% of households," explains co-founder Ruben Petri. In Paris, it is even a third of families. In New York, 50%. A 600 m2 unit, in a building under rehabilitation in the Yvelines, and another of 1,200 m2, under construction in the Nord department, will be inaugurated by the end of the year.
"Disadvantaged compared to couples with two salaries"
And for fifteen apartments in one and 28 in the other, Commune has already received "hundreds of requests" that it is evaluating. "Finding a home after a separation is often very complicated. Especially close to tense big cities, the attraction of coliving and its more attractive rates is important for single-parent families because they are disadvantaged compared to couples who have two salaries. According to an INSEE study, these households show a 30% drop in living standards, on average, one year after the breakup, says the official. What we are offering them is a transitional solution. It is estimated that they will stay with us for between one and three years. »
In its building in the Paris region, Commune will offer T2 with kitchenette and private bathroom from 1,200 euros, or "20 to 30% cheaper" than in the traditional private park. Each apartment rental also includes access to outdoor common areas and kitchen, as well as a laundry room and games and entertainment rooms. That's the concept.
Shared babysitting and catering
At this price, utilities, water, electricity and gas, are included. "As well as our basic services, such as the ability to access streaming platforms, in addition to legal assistance and for children, who are two to three times more likely to have difficulties at school in these families," says Ruben Petri.
"Coliving will also allow us to offer them babysitting or even cheaper catering services thanks to the pooling of costs. This is the most of this formula, apart from the fact that they will be able to meet, share their experiences and help each other in moments that are sometimes complicated to live. There is more and more a need to be in communities, especially for these families," he says.
Other projects in France, and soon internationally?
Commune already has other plans for openings for 2024 "mainly in Ile-de-France, where the need is very accentuated". But also elsewhere in France, where coliving thrives. Commercial real estate specialist JLL has invested €440 million in this new form of housing in 2021, then €291 million in 2022. Before 2020, it was less than 50 million euros per year.
"Covid has reshuffled the cards and people have realized that living alone locked in small apartments, isolated, it was not very nice," says Tara Heuzé-Sarmini, the other co-founder of Commune. The start-up is also eyeing international markets where the company could be expected to develop in the coming years.