Housemates appear on SBS

Hansraj Shah and Cate Mercer in their garden.

Castlemaine’s Cate Mercer will appear in an episode of SBS’s Insight program next week to talk about ‘convenient relationships’.

Cate shares a house with Hansraj Shah and the housemates appear on the show to talk about their living arrangements.

Cate has been living with housemates for most of her life and loves it.

“I do it more for the social benefits than for financial reasons, although the financial benefits do help,” she says.

“I believe that so many people living alone contributes to the loneliness epidemic.”

Hansraj is an electrical engineer and Cate is his first housemate who isn’t from the Nepalese community.

Hansraj said he had lived on his own briefly, and said he found it really hard. He likes having someone to come home to and to talk about his day with.

Cate connected with Hansraj through an organisation called The Room Xchange, which helps people find housemates.

For the first time she says, she felt a bit unsure when interviewing for a housemate and says it was just wonderful having a professional organisation to vet him for her.

Cate says Hansraj is one of the best people she has lived with – “he is just so respectful, which is so important. Plus he helps me with computer issues, which I am also so grateful for,” she says.

Cate and Hansraj are keen to keep living together for as long as they can. They say while it’s a convenient arrangement, it has also become a genuine friendship.

The SBS Insight episode, called ‘Convenient Relationships’, will air on Tuesday April 16 at 8.30pm and then be available on SBS On Demand.

Find out more about The Room Xchange at