Homesharing pilot aims to ease housing crunch for service year corps members and the region’s aging population
SAN JOSE, Calif. and DENVER – Aug. 28, 2019 – Silvernest and Service Year Alliance are partnering on a homesharing pilot designed to bring more affordable housing options to service year corps members committed to serving full-time for a year in San Jose, California. Through the Silvernest homesharing platform, service year corps members will be matched with homeowners in the area – many of them boomers – who are open to rent out their unused rooms at a discounted rate.
San Jose is a notoriously expensive city with some of the highest rent prices in the nation. A one-bedroom apartment rents for an average of $2,563 a month, making it difficult for service year corps members to live there on their modest monthly stipend. At the same time, census data shows that 70% of Californians over the age of 60 are homeowners, and many have empty rooms that could be rented out.
“Every year, hundreds of young people commit to spending a year serving full-time in San Jose, tackling critical issues such as education inequity and local environmental needs. However, affording to live in San Jose on a modest living allowance can be challenging, and housing continues to be one of the biggest barriers to doing a service year,” said Rosa Moreno, Chief Program Officer at Service Year Alliance. “This creative solution enables young people to live where they are serving and, in doing so, build even stronger bonds in the local community and make a bigger impact on the issues they are addressing.”
Boomers, empty nesters, retirees, and other homeowners in the San Jose area also benefit through this innovative partnership. In addition to receiving extra income from rent that can be used to offset their own living costs, they also gain companionship and the satisfaction of supporting young people who are working to strengthen their community.
“We’ve found that aging homeowners tend to be interested in these types of programs for much more than financial or household assistance,” said Wendi Burkhardt, CEO of Silvernest. “They’re enthusiastic about supporting social efforts in their own backyard, as well as opening their homes to younger generations.”
The pilot is currently in progress. Interested homeowners can register via the Silvernest online platform and indicate an interest to be matched with a compatible service year corps member.
Silvernest is an online home sharing service that pairs aging homeowners with qualified housemates, giving Baby Boomers and empty nesters an aging-in-place alternative. Through its roommate-matching, lease management and localized support services, Silvernest combines the tools, expertise and commitment to provide the industry's first comprehensive home sharing platform. This hassle-free service takes care of the details, providing peace-of-mind by enabling people to stay in their homes, while benefiting from increased income and shared experiences. Denver-based Silvernest has been called a company to watch. Visit us online at www.silvernest.com, check out our blog, or follow us Facebook and Twitter.
Service Year Alliance is working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. Expanding service years, with programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and YouthBuild, has the power to revitalize cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty. Learn more at ServiceYear.org.