Renting Rooms Could Be An Unorthodox Solution To The Nation’s Housing Crunch

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Many Baby Boomers with an empty nest can earn extra income by taking in a Millennial looking for an affordable place to live

July 19, 2017
Spare bedroom that could be rented out by Baby Boomers for Millennials

Photo: Tim Collins/Wikimedia Commons

It will take a leap of faith for all parties involved, but Baby Boomers and Millennials can alleviate the nation’s low inventory and housing affordability problem by living together.

Trulia calculated that the older homeowners in the 100 largest metros have 3.6 million unoccupied rooms that could be rented out.

Both sides could benefit from the living arrangement. Millennials are looking for affordable places to live, and taking up an empty room is thousands of dollars cheaper than renting an apartment. Boomers, in turn, can earn supplemental income and offset cost-of-living increases. Trulia reports that Boomers could take in an extra $14,000 by renting out spare rooms.

While the idea of older Americans sharing space with young adults – renting out the grown kids’ rooms to strangers – may seem odd at first, consider that such non-family, multi-generational housing solutions are growing across Europe. And even here, many universities are now offering exchanges where older adults can rent extra space to budget-strapped students.

Washington, Atlanta, and Denver are the markets with the highest percentage of homes with a spare room.

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