Need help with housing expenses? Home sharing may be the answer

By Sarah Fletcher

NYFSC’S HOME SHARING PROGRAM has provided housing solutions for hundreds of New Yorkers since 1981. Photo credit: Allison Merz at NYU CHAI.

Inflation is taking a bite out of everyone’s income and life in the city can be lonely. New York Foundation for Senior Citizens (NYFSC), the only non-profit, non-sectarian organization serving older adults citywide, has a Home Sharing Program that has been in existence for more than 40 years.

It provides a free matching service for those looking to share their home. It matches ‘hosts’ with responsible, compatible ‘guests.’ Adults ages 18 or older are eligible but at least one of the participants must be age 60 or older. The program also serves adult hosts age 55 or older who are interested in sharing spaces with developmentally disabled adult guests capable of independent living.

To ensure the safety of Home Sharing hosts and guests, comprehensive, confidential intake screenings and background checks are conducted by NYFSC’s licensed social work staff. When it comes to determining compatibility, they use a proprietary database to match lifestyle preferences with 31 criteria such as whether smoking or pets are allowed in the home. However, even if a host and a guest are a perfect match according to the database, the program’s social workers carefully review candidates to assess whether they are, in fact, compatible.

NYFSC also arranges over-the-phone and in-person ‘match meetings’ and assists with the negotiation of shared living agreements.

NYFSC President Linda Hoffman said, “What we have found is that common interests are often the determining factor in the decision of a host and a guest to participate in home sharing.”

In some cases, a service exchange can lower or eliminate financial contributions altogether. An exchange can include services such as assisting with errands or remaining in the home at night in case of emergency.

For further information about NYFSC’s Home Sharing Program, visit:, email: or call: 212-962-7559, ext. 246.