- Two single moms in Maryland bought an $835,000 fourplex during the pandemic and moved in with their kids.
- The women support each other by sharing the burden of childcare and owning a home post-divorce.
- This house-sharing arrangement is known as a “mommune” — a commune for single mothers.
Two single mothers decided to move in under one roof with their kids during the pandemic so they could navigate post-divorce life with support from each other.
For longtime friends Holly Harper and Herrin Hopper, the idea was to share the responsibilities of raising their children and a way of attaining homeownership despite not being in traditional relationships, the New York Times reported.
“We want our kids to be safe, and we want the support we deserve as humans. The economic linchpin of that is real estate,” Hopper told the New York Times. “The most logical thing in the world is to share.”
The two women bought an $835,000 Maryland fourplex in April 2020 where they’re now co-living with their children, the New York Times reported: Harper and her 10-year-old daughter live on the first floor, while Hopper, her 10-year-old son, and her 15-year-old daughter occupy the second level.
Harper and Hopper, who refer to each other as platonic spouses, also have a tenant who rents the basement unit, per the New York Times. They’ve kept the last unit upstairs vacant, turning it into a communal space for everyone to enjoy.
They named their home the “Siren House,” after the half-bird, half-woman creatures from Greek mythology, the Washington Post previously reported in March 2022.
In 2022, there were 10.9 million one-parent family groups with a child under 18 years old in the US, per the United State Census Bureau. And 80% of these single-parent households were managed by a mother.
But single-parent family units are more likely to live in poverty, among other issues.
“We say, ‘It takes a village,’ but who is out there making villages?” Harper told the Washington Post. “That’s what we’re doing.”
In response, more and more single mothers — like Harper and Hopper — are coming together and forming “mommunes” where they can share resources and navigate motherhood together without romantic partners, per the New York Times.
“In the patriarchal, heteronormative story, you get divorced and stay in the house, or you buy another home, and you live this isolated life where you’re supposed to date and fall in love again and get remarried or blend families,” Hopper told The New York Times. “It seems like it’s always a binary, and we have dispelled this myth that there’s only one path forward.”