Quote: Susan Bendes, the shared housing coordinator at the Women’s Rights Information Center, in Englewood, N.J., said the nonprofit, which has found affordable housing for Bergen County residents since the 1970s, believes there is an urgent need for public policymakers to promote home sharing to seniors to prevent homelessness.
“I have seniors who call and ask me all kinds of questions because they’re in dire need of financial assistance to stay in their homes, but they tend to be gun-shy when it’s time to actually bring in a tenant,” Ms. Bendes said. “There needs to be more dialogue on how and why home sharing should be a normal thing in our society.”
Statistics show that the number of older Americans who are homeless is growing. In 2007, homeless people 62 and older who sought shelter accounted for 2.9 percent of the country’s homeless population. By 2016, the percentage had risen to 4.7, according to estimates from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group.
… Melissa McHam Green, a licensed social worker and eldercare manager in Brooklyn, has helped some of her clients find roommates and agree on mutually beneficial guidelines. She advises those interested in home sharing not to go about it on their own: Go through a nonprofit service, she said, or ask a trusted eldercare professional, friends or family to help properly vet the prospective roommates. And before you sign a lease with a boarder, make sure to do a background check.
“You need a huge amount of trust and to be very clear with your expectations,” she said.