Unique Winnipeg housing co-op struggles to find roommates – Manitoba

Beverly Suek’s unique housing idea in Winnipeg has attracted a lot of attention, with media from across Canada doing stories on what she describes as “an intentional community.”

About two years ago, Suek founded Women’s Housing Initiative Manitoba and decided to share her large Riverview home with other women over the age of 50, who didn’t want to live alone. 

But despite all the interest, there’s been reluctance to actually joining the housing co-op.

“We’ve got thousands of likes on Facebook but we don’t have people lined up to join us,” Suek said.

CBC spoke with Suek as part of the series Modern Families, which explores how people are taking care of each other as circumstances change.

Beverly Suek founded Women’s Housing Initative Manitoba. ‘A lot of older women live alone and are lonely, but you’re not supposed to say that out loud,’ she says. (CBC)

She said while many people like the idea of living together, enjoying both privacy and companionship, something stops them from giving it a try.

“The actual act of moving in and sharing a space with people, I think it’s really hard for people,” Suek said.

Hard to admit loneliness, Suek says

The 71-year-old believes part of the problem is that not everyone wants to admit that they are not self-sufficient or that they feel lonely.

‘A lot of older women live alone and are lonely.  But you’re not supposed to say that out loud.’
– Beverly Suek

“I think that we have a society where it’s not a good thing to be able to admit that you’re lonely.”

Suek, who was recently named to the Order of Manitoba in recognition of her years of community service and achievement, raised seven children. After her husband died, she found herself on her own.

“A lot of older women live alone and are lonely, but you’re not supposed to say that out loud,” she said.

She believes other factors might be at play as well. Some people may be worried about conflict and not getting along with others in a…

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