Seniors Using Roommate-Finding Agencies to Cut Costs

Seniors Using Roommate-Finding Agencies to Cut Costs

The bad Obama economy has been particularly hard on seniors living on a fixed income. One of the ways some seniors have found to cope with skyrocketing costs is to share living expenses with strangers and now seniors are utilizing roommate-finding agencies to assist them in that goal.

In March, Breitbart reported that with the cost of living soaring, jobs being lost, retirement being put off until later ages, and as older Americans lose their expected retirement benefits, many seniors are turning to expense sharing with friends or taking in borders and roommates to make ends meet.

“Middle-class seniors and the growing wave of baby boomers behind them want to stay in their homes and communities as they grow old,” CNBC noted on May 20, “but escalating costs of everything from food to medication to property taxes; battered retirement portfolios; and dwindling savings have today’s older Americans looking to become ad hoc landlords or tenants, even if the practice sometimes is forbidden by zoning restrictions.”

Now the Associated Press reports that roommate-finding services are springing up to pair elderly homeowners with those seeking rooms to let.

“Agencies that put such seniors together say the need appears to be growing as baby boomers age and struggle to deal with foreclosures, property taxes and rising rents,” The AP reported on July 22. “The typical situation involves an elderly woman, widowed or divorced, who has a house or an apartment with extra room and needs help with the upkeep.”

“Our seniors want to remain part of the community they were raised in, where they worked and went to church,” said Jackie Grossman, director of the home-sharing program at Open Communities in the Chicago suburbs, told the AP. “They don’t want to be just with other seniors. Maybe they love their garden, their tool shed, and they would have to give that up if they move into senior housing.”

These agencies take the guesswork out of the proposition for seniors who might otherwise be blind advertising on supermarket bulletin boards, local papers, or Internet sites like Craig’s List.

The agencies do background checks and help assure the home-owning senior with a room to let that an applicant is stable and not a potential criminal, assurances that blind advertising cannot bring a senior hoping to find a person to share expenses.

Seniors are not the only ones having trouble making ends meet in this bad economy. A recent report noted that people under 34 are increasingly living in multigenerational homes because they cannot afford to buy their own homes.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at