Living with roommates in New York City isn’t just something people in their 20s and 30s do. This is regardless of what mainstream media may have you believe. Based on this report by SpareRoom, and as per data from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, people over the age of 50 living with roommates have grown by 27 percent in the past year. This means senior home shares, or co-living options for people over 40, exist with a total number of 2.6 million older people living with non-relative roommates.

What do the numbers say about senior home shares?

NYC’s affordability crisis led to a steep rise in the numbers of New Yorkers over the age of 40. These New Yorkers found themselves living with roommates. Zillow refers to this phenomenon of people not earning enough to be able to afford houses for themselves as “doubled-up households”.

The Minnesota Population Center, which gathers housing data from all over the world, reports that about 164,000 New Yorkers over the age of 40 — or 4.34 percent — live with a roommate. This is an increase from 3.37 percent 10 years ago.

Single Americans now outnumber married ones, and an abode of one’s own isn’t cheap, especially in the Big Apple.

The fact of the matter is that as people grow older, it’s only natural to lose partners. For people who found themselves in a divorce, became a widow(er), or never got around to marrying in the first place, senior home shares have become increasingly popular.

“Rising cost of living across the U.S. as well as inflation means that many older Americans are seeking roommates. This is a financially-sound alternative to living alone. For renters, having a roommate could save those over 50 about $25,000 a year. Additionally, 91 percent of millennials choose roommates for the financial benefits, compared to 89 percent of baby boomers. Moreover, just 41 percent of millennials state that they can live alone but choose to live with roommates. Compared to 55 percent of baby boomers who have the finances to live alone, but choose to live with roommates.”

As per facts reported in 2019, by the mortgage banking organization, MReport.

In this article, we will be answering questions that anyone over 40 looking for house-sharing options might have.

What’s living with a roommate like when you’re over 40?

Coliving is, in a sense, a return to older ways of living.

In an Op-Ed published in the New York Times, Diana Lin explains through her factual referencing to American History, how house boarding was an essential part of American societies up until the second World War.

Until World War II, American cities teemed with single-room-occupancy houses and hotels that served as de facto apartment rentals. In the 1930 census, 11.4 percent of urban families reported that they housed boarders. Many more families included grandparents and older relatives. These shared housing options let more people, more cheaply, enjoy a city’s amenities.”

Sharing a Kitchen: A Guide To Peacefully Share a Kitchen with Roommates

Where to find roommates when you’re over 40?

Among the many websites that exist with the sole purpose of helping users find their roommates — the following are some of the most popular websites that specialize in helping people over 40 find their senior home shares, personalized to their needs.


Cohabitas is a service exclusively for those over 40, to find other people interested in sharing, to find a room, or to find a property to start a new co-living house. They require a simple registration based set up which leads you to your search for a roommate by posting an ad. Users are asked to share their preferences in terms of property and housemates.


This platform allows homeowners to offer rent reductions in exchange for help around the house. Users can also request a background screening, including eviction history, on any possible renters. It also provides a rent calculator, sets up state-specific coliving agreements, auto rent payments, and membership includes three 30-minute attorney consultations to help you through the process. The cost is $25 a month.

Talking of prices, How much rent should you really be paying in NYC?

Senior Homeshares

This is a free service that matches homeowners and home seekers based on their profile that covers parameters such as budget, location, habits, housing and accessibility needs, and more. If you’re not too tech-savvy, you can also designate a co-user to navigate your account for you.

Here are our favourite tricks to finding a more affordable room in NYC.

Senior home shares and roommates: What are you looking for exactly?

The first one that you might want to kick off your list is if the person will easily be able to commit to the financial requirements of the household you will be sharing with them.

But once that’s out of the way, you’d definitely want to see that the person you’re renting an apartment room to, or are moving in with has a similar lifestyle and habits.

It’s simple — if you’re a morning person, it just isn’t a good idea to move in with a night owl.

In the same way, shared values are also a lot more important than shared interests because two people who do not like the same sports team, might still be able to live together, but two people with opposing political affiliations may find the process extremely difficult as the core values differ.

You might also find interesting: The Quest To Finding Your Soul Roommate.

Where does coliving for people over 40 stand today?

There are about 60 senior/youth home-share programs in the U.S. Some are decades old, others less than a year. There are independent free-market connectors, and government-sponsored programs to serve senior citizens.

A few have become international platforms in the style of Airbnb, like Homeshare UK, which started in the late 1980s in London and has now expanded to 16 other countries. For young people who have grown up immersed in the “sharing economy,” services like Nesterly solve a housing problem the same way Uber solves a transportation problem or We Work solves an office space problem.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers with senior home sharing and coliving options? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!