Home-Sharing Programs Create Living Solutions

Finding affordable housing on a budget has become increasingly difficult for young people entering the job market, and for older adults who live alone.  Many seniors who have lost a spouse, or are divorced, struggle to keep up with home maintenance and although they may wish to age in place, could use some extra income and help around the house.  An intergenerational housing agreement may be the solution, and these home-sharing arrangements between younger renters and older homeowners are becoming more popular in a shrinking housing market amid sharply rising costs of living. 

According to a recent Washington Post Inspired Life article, Nesterly, an online home-sharing agency is helping match younger renters with older homeowners looking to share their space and gain extra income and some assistance with housework, gardening, or errands.  The agency requires background checks for both parties and helps pair intergenerational housemates who will be compatible.   In exchange for reduced rent, younger adults can help with pets, share cooking duties, or do some light housekeeping. 

In addition to finding affordable, safe housing, the arrangement offers an opportunity for social interaction with someone from a different generation.  The benefits can be surprising, and in many cases, home-sharing is the beginning of a close friendship.  According to a recent Pew Research Center study, about 18 percent of Americans live in a multigenerational household and these arrangements have quadrupled in the U.S. since the 1970s.  

As the elderly population continues to grow, and more seniors plan to age in place, intergenerational housing programs are expected to be more common.  For college students and young adults, high rents and low vacancies in traditional accommodations make such alternatives desirable.  Multigenerational housing not only improves the lives and health of older adults, but creates more safe, affordable, and spacious living conditions for today’s young people. 

Learn more about intergenerational home-sharing in Canada by following this link to Canada HomeShare, supported by the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE).