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Stabilizing neighborhoods through helping seniors age-in-place and providing affordable housing

Washington, DC

Addressing the challenge of long-term housing for seniors, in-home supports, and affordable housing through technology. Silvernest an online homesharing platform that helps compatible homeowners and housemates find each other and gives them the tools and support they need to create a Home Sweet Shared Home.

Topics Covered

Housing & Affordable Housing
Fiscal Uncertainty

Cost

Initial: Zero Upfront Cost

Funding

Public Private Partnership

Project Status

Operational since 2018

Gov Champion

AgeFriendly DC

Problem Addressed

85% of homeowners over 65 want to age-in-place and over 90% want to stay in their communities.

However, aging expenses are, on average, $60,000/year and older adults face an enormous challenge of meeting increasing expenses on a fixed income. Affordable housing in most cities is a challenge with average rents soaring. However, many homeowners have extra space in their homes. Using Silvernest to find a housemate can increase a senior resident's income by over $700/month, allowing them to meet increasing expenses, get additional services, and stay in their homes and neighborhoods longer. Opening up the homes of these seniors also increases affordable housing options for others, whether seniors, students, or workers, by providing a home much below average market prices.

With nearly 11,000 people turning 65 every day and a boomer population of 109 million projected to reach 132 million by 2030, the US is facing an aging population of unprecedented size. Although this population wants to age in their homes, they often struggle to pay rising living costs with fixed budgets. Many are also financially underprepared for retirement—especially given today’s all-time-high life expectancy. Silvernest is a unique solution that allows older homeowners to stay in their homes, create extra income, and live a fuller life.

Solutions Used

Washington DC, like many cities, is increasingly attractive to all ages and walks of life.

However, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment at $2,500/month. Housing prices are similarly escalating. Fortunately, many homeowners have space in their homes and find having a housemate an attractive option, for a variety of reasons including helping someone who is just starting out or trying to stay in their neighborhoods. In addition, increasing incomes and allowing these homeowners to age-in-place, Silvernest and Washington DC are increasing social connectivity, increasing affordable housing inventory, stabilizing and creating multigenerational neighborhoods, and decreasing medicare costs (which increase approximately $1,600/year for adults who are socially isolated, like the 28% of those 65 and older who live alone).

Outcomes

1

Increased income for seniors (average of $10,000 a year) helping them stay in their homes by having additional support from the housemate (cooking, cleaning, errands, etc).

2

Increase in local availability of affordable housing, for seniors, students and others in the workforce. Opening up more homes and rentals for the market.

3

Creation of stable, intergenerational neighborhoods that will build community development and engagement.

Something Unique

The city is leveraging a consumer technology solution to solve many economic and social challenges it faces with a zero out of pocket cost for taxpayers.

Who Should Consider

Any city that wants to find additional affordable housing without building developments. This supports the aging population that has potential to lose housing while adding informal supports.

Last Updated

Sep 23rd, 2019
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