Here’s an intriguing concept that can be one small solution to a housing crunch. Tight housing markets present real quandaries for many. Yet this “curious roommate pairing” — or shared housing concept — may be worth looking at … for lots of reasons.
“Dean Kaplan and Sarah Heintz chatted in the apartment they share in Cambridge.” – JESSICA RINALDI/GLOBE STAFF
“After living with more than a dozen different roommates in his young life, most of them strangers, Dean Kaplan is well-versed in the particulars of those first meetings — the short introductions, the perfunctory pleasantries, and then the quick getting on with life.
“‘After you move enough times,’ said the 25-year-old Baltimore native, there is ‘definitely a high degree of nonchalance.’
“In late August, though, as he stood on the front porch of a sizable multistory house in Cambridge ready to meet his newest roommate, he found himself uncharacteristically nervous and eager to make a good first impression.”
“Of all the roommates he’d had in the previous few years, Sarah Heintz would be the first septuagenarian.”
Can there be complications? Sure, but …
As the National Shared Housing Resource Center points out:
“Home Sharing is a simple idea: a homeowner offers accommodation to a homesharer in exchange for an agreed level of support in the form of financial exchange, assistance with household tasks, or both.
“The community is also a beneficiary of Home Sharing. Shared living makes efficient use of existing housing stock, helps preserve the fabric of the neighborhood and, in certain cases, helps to lessen the need for costly chore/care services and long term institutional care.
“A home sharer might be a senior citizen, a person with disabilities, a working professional, someone at-risk of homelessness, a single parent, or simply a person wishing to share his or her life and home with others. For these people, shared housing offers companionship, affordable housing, security, mutual support and much more.
“Home Sharing programs can offer a more secure alternative to other roommate options. Many programs have staff who are trained to carefully screen each program applicant through interviewing, background checking, and personal references.”
Earlier this month a Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources WEBINAR introduced a pilot program that’s operating in northeast Pennsylvania.
You can see the slides from the PowerPoint about this program — in Pike, Wayne, and Monroe Counties — here.