An older person with grey hair picks up vegetables while a younger person in the background uses a knife to chop them.

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Humber College has teamed up with technology platform SpacesShared to offer an innovative way to find affordable housing for students.

SpacesShared is a secure platform that helps older adults who are interested in homesharing connect with verified student guests. The platform is already in use in the Barrie area to help Georgian College students find places to live by connecting them with older adults who have available space. It’s now launching in the GTA through the collaboration with Humber.

"Tackling the issue of affordable housing for students is critical in this important time in their lives,” said Jason Hunter, vice-president of Students and Institutional Planning at Humber. “The partnership and platform offer an innovative solution that addresses student housing needs in a safe way, while also benefiting our valued seniors living in the community.”  

Older adults can supplement their income by offering a spare bedroom to students at an affordable rate. Reduced rent options are available when students contribute to household chores.   

The SpacesShared platform facilitates the entire process – from profile viewing and messaging to virtual meetings, homesharing agreements, rental payments, and monthly check-ins. Students can apply for the waitlist now and will be contacted once a supply of host homes becomes available.

Finding affordable housing can be a challenge for students, particularly international students. SpacesShared is addressing that challenge by helping students find new places to call home while also encouraging intergenerational relationships that can help reduce the social isolation older adults and students – many of whom are living away from home for the first time – can sometimes feel.  

“SpacesShared is designed to address two of Ontario’s most pressing challenges,” said Rylan Kinnon, CEO of SpacesShared. "We know that students are not the only Ontarians facing housing affordability issues. Older adults have been greatly impacted by changes in the housing market, inflation, increases to the cost of living, and a little help with chores around the home can significantly reduce barriers to aging-in-place. By pairing up these two demographics who have so much to offer one another our aim is to provide a new way to facilitate a very old concept – homesharing."  

Humber and SpacesShared are looking for hosts in the west GTA, Peel Region and surrounding areas. People interested in becoming a host can sign up anytime.

More information about SpacesShared can be found by visiting their website.