The New Odd Couple? This App Is Matching Boomers with Millennial Roommates

The New Odd Couple? This App Is Matching Boomers with Millennial Roommates

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Melissa Massello
Jul 10, 2017
(Image credit: SpeedKingz/Shutterstock)

Baby Boomers and Millennials are the two biggest cohorts of humans alive today, and at completely opposite ends of the age spectrum, but they have more in common and to offer each other than we think. And a new class of apps is setting out to enhance those connections — one by playing matchmaker with their living arrangements.

After my parents divorced, my mom (then still in her thirties, with three kids under 10) often rented out our guest room to grad students from one of the nearby universities, offering up cheap rent for occasional babysitting and adult companionship. It was a really common thing to do in Boston, where you can barely throw a frisbee in any direction without hitting a college campus — and a great way to bridge the affordability gap for both students and working families, even in the '80s, all while building and strengthening the community.

Which is probably why two MIT students have come up with possibly the next big thing in finding urban housing: Nesterly, an app launching with the fall 2017 semester, which pairs students seeking housing with Baby Boomers seeking renters. Boomers and Millennials might seem like the Odd Couple of the aughts, but it turns out they have much more in common than meets the eye — and can offer each other a lot, too, through intergenerational living.

As CityLab reports, Nesterly will serve as a service app through which homeowners can search for potential renters based on the kind of help they need. And for students, the more time they offer, the lower their rent may be, depending on what's agreed upon.


We're excited to help the rapidly aging population stay in their homes, and one way is helping them access household help like changing the light bulb or shoveling the snow."


This trend has been building for quite a few years, starting with nursing homes around the world offering up rooms to millennials in exchange for volunteering, then with formal university programs pairing students with empty nesters, and now including around 40 such formal programs nationwide, according to the National Shared Housing Resource Center.

"We're really excited about the opportunity to help the rapidly aging population in the U.S. stay in their homes, and one way is helping them access just household help like changing the light bulb or shoveling the snow," says Noelle Marcus, co-founder of Nesterly. "Simple tasks that students can do, but could really make a big difference for an aging household."

Read more about the demographic and affordability statistics driving this housing trend in college cities and towns, as well as the full interview with Nesterly's co-founders Noelle Marcus and Rachel Goor, over on CityLab.

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