Free Program Lets Seniors Share Their Homes To Cut Costs
Senior citizens who cannot afford to stay in their homes can benefit from a free program that matches them with roommates. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
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As housing prices soared, Marcia Rosenfeld was in jeopardy of losing her sprawling two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn because she lived alone. Then she got involved with a home-sharing program that matched her with a guest who would help her pay the bills.
"It would have been impossible to do it. There’s no way I could have stayed here without the Home Sharing plan. None at all," says Rosenfeld.
Home Sharing, which is run by the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, is celebrating its 30th year. The free citywide program has matched more than 2,000 people like Carolyn Allen, who moved into Rosenfeld's apartment about a year ago.
"The prices of the new apartments or condos is outrageous, and if you're on a fixed income... wait, you don’t even have to be on a fixed income. You can be working and you can’t afford it," says Allen.
Allen can afford to live in this luxury building in Park Slope with her own bedroom and private bath, because the program thoroughly screens both parties and there are pre-arranged agreements about what the guest will pay.
Linda Hoffman, the president and CEO of the program, says the participates also gain friendship.
"It’s another affordable housing option when the housing in the City of New York, especially for seniors, is the top priority need," says Hoffman. "When there’s a need especially for seniors to remove the feeling of isolation and loneliness, to receive companionship."
As an added bonus, only one of the parties has to be over the age of 60, and it does not matter which one.
"A win-win in every sense of the word," says Rosenfeld. "These people do the most fantastic amount of background checks. You’re not going into a real estate office and just getting a name and that’s it."
To learn more about the Home Sharing program, call 1-212-962-7559 or visit nyfsc.org.