Arranging Home Share
How to Help Your Loved One Find a Housemate
Step 1: Get the word out
If there's a home-share matching service in your area, use it, advises Jacqueline Grossmann, co-president of the National Shared Housing Network, who has helped set up hundreds of matches in the Chicago area. It's safer to have an experienced, impartial person checking out potential housemates, and having a pro involved in setting up the details helps smooth the way.
Also, while con artists and frauds are not as common as many people fear, those who are out there are likely to steer clear of a professional agency. You can check the National Shared Housing Resource Center for a nearby service.
If you live in an area without a service, you'll need to find another way. Post the ads yourself if you live nearby, giving your contact information rather than the older adults'. You can do the initial screening to find potential housemates you feel comfortable introducing to them.
Online classifieds like Craigslist will likely yield a lot of calls or e-mails. If they live near a university, you could post a notice on a bulletin board in the international student or grad student center, where students who need housing are likely to congregate. University websites often have an area where you can post your listing online.
Call the HR departments of nearby corporations to see whether they ever bring in out-of-town employees who may be looking for a furnished place to stay for several months or longer that's homier and more affordable than a hotel. Nurses are often flown in from all over the country when there's a local shortage -- check with a local hospital.
Ask whether your pastor or rabbi knows of anyone who's new in the area. You may also want to advertise in the church or synagogue bulletin.