Canada’s rents are rising while vacancy rates are shrinking, yet the country has one coveted real estate asset collecting dust: empty bedrooms, and millions of them. A growing number of the country’s seniors are living in homes too big, while young Canadians squeeze into apartments too expensive. There’s a solution: share the living space already built, to mutual benefit.
The concept of home sharing, where the homeowner, usually a senior, offers reduced rent for a room in their home in exchange for small chores and companionship, is getting attention in small towns and cities across the country, including a new pilot project in Toronto this summer. This month, Boston expanded the use of a new housing app called Nesterly, co-developed by a Canadian MIT-grad and billed as a socially conscious solution to both loneliness and soaring housing costs. The app creates home-sharing matches between seniors and cash-strapped university students.
Many other new home sharing projects are modelling themselves after a non-profit organization in Vermont, where matched candidates meet, have trial stays and, if both agree, sign a clear contract that outlines expectations and rules while they live together. Great idea!
There’s a great article on this topic at: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-seniors-have-too-much-house-millennials-have-none-and-a-business/