Opens Door to More Intergenerational Home Sharing Matches New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Home Sharing Program, a unique affordable housing option and free matching service is expanding the pool of New Yorkers – both older and younger adults – who can benefit from shared living. For the first time in 25 years, the program, which matches older “hosts,” ages 60 and over and adults “guests,” ages 18 and over, is now lowering its age eligibility criteria and will accept appropriate younger “hosts,” willing to share their homes and apartments with “guests” ages, 60 and over.
Says City Councilman David I. Weprin (D-23), “By offering younger City residents the opportunity to participate as hosts, the Home Sharing Program will help additional older and younger New Yorkers gain financial relief and find affordable housing. I am pleased that my continued support of this wonderful resource will now be available to more residents of all ages throughout the City.”
In response to requests from younger adult singles and family members struggling to remain in their homes and apartments, the Foundation is now opening its doors to younger hosts. “We believe younger New Yorkers will enjoy sharing their homes with independent older persons who will contribute to their household expenses and provide other social benefits,” says Linda Hoffman, President, New York Foundation for Senior Citizens. “For older guests, moving in with a younger person, couple or family gives them an affordable place to live and possible companionship.”
The Foundation has learned over the years that matching older hosts with younger guests can be rich experiences for both parties and expects that the reverse will be equally rewarding. An intergenerational home sharing match occurred in Manhattan in September, between 32-year-old Amy Ronek, an Iowa native who works at Barnes and Noble and Maxine Glorsky, a 67 year old stage manager for dance companies. With rising expenses, Ms. Glorsky, who has a spare bedroom in her spacious Greenwich Village duplex apartment, found home sharing a pain free solution to dealing with rising expenses. She also discovered the benefits of sharing with a younger woman whose energy and intellectual interests are similar to her own.
Ms. Glorsky and Ms. Ronek clicked right away. “Amy has an upbeat personality and we are both impassioned about something. I see my grey hair when I look in the mirror, but otherwise I don’t think about my age. We have something we want to do and really care about.” Adds Ms. Ronek: “I don’t think of Maxine as older. Everything just fell into place very quickly with Home Sharing.” When Ms. Glorsky has tickets to a performance she is involved with, she often invites Ms. Ronek. “It is such a delight learning about dance and being part of Maxine’s world.”
The Home Sharing Program’s original service continues to encourage matches between older hosts and adult guests, ages 18 and over. Here is how New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Home Sharing Program works: Professional social workers carefully screen applicants and conduct in-depth interviews to determine compatibility of potential hosts and guests and help to facilitate and implement matches. Prior to moving in, the service offers a license agreement to help hosts and guests clarify the terms of their shared living arrangements. Once the match is made, the staff continues to provide follow-up services.
Guests contribute toward hosts’ monthly household expenses and, in some cases, provide household help or other services in exchange for reduced payment. Benefits to both hosts and guests include easing financial burdens, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness and providing companionship and a sense of security.
According to New York City Department for the Aging Commissioner Edwin Méndez-Santiago, LCSW, “Keeping seniors in their communities and homes is a priority for the Department. The Foundation’s expanded Home Sharing program is one innovative housing option that allows seniors to remain in their communities.”
Home Sharing is administered and funded by New York Foundation for Senior Citizens through funding from New York State and New York City legislators, New York State Office for the Aging, New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, New York City Department for the Aging and private contributions.
Established in 1968, New York Foundation for Senior Citizens is the only non-profit, non-sectarian organization serving New York’s seniors in all five boroughs. New York Foundation for Senior Citizens is dedicated to helping New York’s seniors enjoy healthier, safer, and more productive and dignified lives. ###