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Last updated: 12/8/17

Intergenerational Homeshare Pilot

We’re offering affordable housing to graduate students while helping local homeowners and communities.

This pilot program is an action item from the Age-Friendly Boston Action Plan. This plan aims to encourage age-friendly development in the City. We’re also exploring different housing options in communities through a “Homeshare” network. This network matches older homeowners with extra rooms to rent to people who need to rent a room

Have questions? Contact us:

BOSTON, MA 02108-2501

Why we did this

Seniors are the fastest-growing part of Boston’s population according to our Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 report. The AARP also reports that nearly ninety percent of older homeowners want to stay in their homes. But, they face challenges, including:

  • social isolation
  • declining incomes, and
  • home maintenance.

A report by Trulia, an online real estate resource, estimates that more than 3.6 million rooms in the US are unoccupied, and could be rented out. This study found that graduate students could save up to $24,000 each year by renting a room rather than a one-bedroom apartment. Also, the study found that there are more than 38,000 spare bedrooms in the homes of Boston baby boomers.

We know that many older adults in our neighborhoods have found themselves with space in their homes and a need for some companionship and simple home maintenance. We hope this opportunity provides more options for people as they are thinking about how they want to live out their future.

Mayor Walsh

The Experiment

Our hypothesis? By matching older adults with graduate students, we will open up new affordable rental units. We’ll also create sustainable living environments that support residents as they age in their homes.

The City and nesterly are collaborating to bring this innovative housing solution to Boston. We’ve seen strong demand for the program. Working with local organizations and schools, nesterly received more than over 80 applications in only three weeks. Applicants worked with nesterly to find matches that also helped build a stronger community.

To date, we’ve made eight successful matches across Boston and in surrounding cities. nesterly created a new website that matched older adult needs with student availability and support. The pilot will run through December. We plan to study the pilot’s impact and feasibility. We’ll also get a better understanding of the resources needed to scale this into a city-wide program.

Results and Lesson Learned

The pilot will run from September to December 2017. Stay tuned, results will be coming soon!