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The Future of Housing for Seniors

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

When it comes to senior housing, there are many options far beyond a retirement residence. Older adults are increasingly exploring and even inventing new living situations that can help them meet their need for financial stability, maintain the comfort of their current home, and reduce the physical tasks associated with property maintenance.

The future of senior housing has many exciting and unique options! Here are a few of them you can explore:

Becoming a landlord

You can modify your current home to be more suitable to a renter, and then you have another couple, or person rent that space. This option allows you to boost your monthly income without losing any equity in your home. You will be giving up space in your home, but you are likely to have more space than you would if you needed to downsize into an apartment, a smaller home or a retirement community. In addition, changes that you make to your property to make it a rentable space may boost the overall value of the home, so that you will have even more equity to draw on if you do end up selling your home at some point in the future.


Co-ownership may (or may not) necessitate modifications to your home. Either way, in this scenario you sell half of your home to a housemate instead of renting it or sharing it. This arrangement allows you to free up a ton of equity while also keeping your familiar space (and all the associated memories). A co-ownership arrangement also results in reduced costs for everyone because you’re sharing utilities and property taxes. Plus, if you make changes to the house these modifications can increase your equity and leave both of you with more money when it comes time to sell the home.

There are many co-ownership benefits in sharing a space with another older adult (or couple) who shares a similar lifestyle. You can rest assured you won't have the late-night disturbances or odd work hours that you might expect of younger people, professionals, or those with children.

That being said, co-ownership is an ideal multi-generational option, too. The older adult can access their home's equity, receive help with bills and also enjoy the ability of aging in place with the security of having someone else in the home. The younger person benefits by being able to enter a housing market that may otherwise be unaffordable. The benefits of building equity over renting can help the younger person establish a strong financial footing.


Homesharing can take the form of a task exchange, in which householders share their home with a housemate in exchange for help around the house. Alternatively, the homeowner can share their home in exchange for supplemental income.

In a task-exchange, rent is subsidized when the person renting partly or completely performs maintenance on the house that the homeowner can no longer perform as formally agreed upon in the homeshare agreement. The tasks can include everything from mowing the lawn to calling the plumber.

A benefit of homesharing is that the homeowner doesn't need to modify their home, all they need is a spare bedroom to reap the numerous benefits of home sharing. These include financial stability, help with the mortgage and bills, being able to age in place, companionship and much more.

For those who travel, this arrangement can be particularly great as you know that the property will be looked after while you’re gone. Home sharing for task exchange can help snowbirds, RV'ers or others who frequently travel for extended periods meet their home insurance requirements while they're gone.

While it can be ideal to start home sharing with younger members of your family (to help them get a financial head-start to owning their own home), the arrangement doesn’t have to be with family. At HomeShare Alliance we offer services designed to help you find a housemate whom you can trust and would be ideal to share your space with based on personality, lifestyle and a number of other factors.

Today, older adults have so many options beyond a retirement home! Reach out to the team at HomeShare Alliance to discuss your options!



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