Lux women who live together

With Luxembourg’s housing market perpetually in crisis, alternative modes of living are emerging. Delano takes a look at women and single mothers who choose to create communities together and the organisations supporting their plans.

Stepping into a house somewhere in Luxembourg City, an assembly of shoes in all different sizes greets visitors. A dog sniffs around. The usual clutter of children is strewn around the living room–a few toys, kids water bottles, crayons and half-finished art projects. On the windowsill, seedlings are growing in an old egg carton.

Two single mothers live in the house with their four children and another housemate, also a woman–an unusual living arrangement for Luxembourg but part of a trend of changing living situations.

“I wanted to just be with women,” said Vania Laranjeira Amaral who initiated the idea to start a house share. “This was essential. It had to be like this.”

Vania for several years had been planning a co-living project, always with her friend and fellow single mother in mind. “I said over and over that I wanted to do this and that we would find a way. It took a while.”

For the mothers in particular, it means a support network in the home, a helping hand. “I’m happy to have people around me, to be able to speak with someone anytime. Before, alone, when something happened or I wasn’t feeling well or everything was too much, there was no one there immediately. Here, there’s this presence.”

While the two single mothers naturally stick together, living together as three women is an added bonus. “Relationships between women are different than with men. For me, it’s easier to be myself and to act and speak freely. I don’t want to say that men aren’t empathetic, but I really feel that women can create this space emotionally. You feel like you’re being held.”