1. Empowering aging community members to stay in their chosen homes
Through Home Match, people who wish to age-in-place are able to access the additional income and household support that will enable their goals. This in turn creates local housing solutions for those seeking to remain close to the community where they live, work, or study.
2. Creating affordable places to live
By connecting people with available rooms in their homes with people seeking affordable housing, Home Match promotes housing stability and affordability. For participants and communities alike, Home Match produces significant savings in an expensive housing market.
3. Building community engagement that combats social isolation
As Home Match participants develop friendships, engage in daily conversations, and share meals, they ultimately improve their health – a studied impact of shared living according to Harvard Health (“The health benefits of shared living” May 2018).
Irene and Hannah were surprised to discover a mutual connection when they moved in together. Hannah met Irene’s late husband at UC Berkeley years ago, not knowing that she would end up living in the house he and Irene built. For Irene, finding someone to help around the house was a key reason she joined Home Match. Household tasks like loading the dishwasher were getting harder to manage on her own.
Meanwhile, Hannah had been looking for affordable housing with no luck: “The alternatives were getting very depressing.” Discovering Home Match was a gift, she says: “I’m lucky it fell into place at exactly the right time.”
Now Hannah manages the kitchen of their shared home, in exchange for lower costs. “Hannah cleans whether I want her to or not,” jokes Irene. The service exchange also gives them a chance to get to know each other. “She needs more help than just a roommate and we do that too, and that brings us closer,” says Hannah.
Blanca and Alma agree: they would not have found each other without Home Match. When Blanca, an older adult and widow who was living alone, contacted the program, she felt “protected and supported.” Blanca needed to pay for home repairs, and saw home-sharing as an opportunity for supplemental income. Working with Home Match staff who could meet with her in-person and communicate with her in Spanish, Blanca felt more at ease with the process.
Blanca’s decision has made all the difference for Alma, her homemate. “Yo no sé lo que haría – I do not know what I would have done,” she says. Alma was at risk of losing her previous housing, and with fixed income from Social Security, she found herself in an impossible situation. Now, they relax in their shared home and chat about their many shared experiences. “I liked her immediately and I knew she liked me too!” says Alma.
Two music-lovers were matched and now make the perfect duet. Carmencita is a retired concert pianist and piano teacher, and Glen sings in his local church choir. At the signing of their match agreement, the two even held an impromptu concert – Carmencita accompanied Glen as he sang a few songs for the lucky Home Match staff.
Their match has been in perfect harmony ever since: “When he [Glen] is at a grocery store, he sends a text to ask what I need,” Carmencita says. “Thanks to Home Match, I found a good house companion and friend.” Glen shares her sentiment: “Thank you, Home Match, for matching me with someone who is kind and considerate. … This is a miracle that I found someone so similar to my personality.”
In The Community
Check out a recent selection of Home Match in the news!
- City Council Approves Program Matching Homeowners with Underutilized Housing and Those Seeking Housing
- NBC Bay Area: Need a Roommate? Home Match San Francisco Can Help
- Monterey Herald: Novel Housing Program Coming to Monterey Count
- AARP: Have A Spare Room? Try Renting It to a Grad Student
- The Atlantic: Affordable Housing’s New Abnormal
- SF Chronicle: Affordable housing in the comfort of your own home
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