Intergenerational Living New Brunswick (iGenNB) matches older adults (aged 55+) with younger adults (aged 20-30) for home-sharing purposes only. iGenNB is a pilot and research program funded by Healthy Seniors Pilot Project NB (HSPP).
Born out of the community, the project aims to help older adults age well, as well as support younger adults who have significant debt.
“The majority of New Brunswick’s older adult population desires to stay in their own homes as long as possible, but maintaining a private residence as one ages comes with challenges. At the same time, Fredericton also faces a shortage of affordable housing, a reality that especially impacts students and young adults still saddled with student debt,” explained the iGenNB team.
They believe that home-sharing can help solve these problems. According to the iGenNB team, around the world, intergenerational home-sharing programs have demonstrated that connecting older adult hosts with younger adult guests can foster meaningful support and mutually beneficial relationships.
Ideas about intergenerational connection were first raised in 2016 during a “Day for The Ages” event, but the project did not formally start until January 2020. Applications are being accepted on an ongoing basis. and the project in the greater-Fredericton area will run until March 2022, after which a province-wide model will be developed.
Led by The Ville, Silvermark, STU, Greater Fredericton Social Innovation, and NBCC, the project invites older adults who are approximately 55-90+ years old, reside in the greater Fredericton area, and are willing to share multiple areas of their home and have a room to offer to a younger adult, as well as younger adults who are approximately 20-35 years old, looking for a place to stay in the greater-Fredericton area, and are willing to live with an adult aged 55 years and older. Basically, the older adult offers the younger adult a room in their home in exchange for cost-sharing, informal help around the house, and company, and the younger adults commit to 10-12 hours per week of support.
All applicants go through a rigorous screening process, and matches are made based on lifestyle, personal preferences, and needs. The time to make a suitable match is based on the wants and needs of the participants, and there is no guarantee of finding a match right away.
“Once a match is found, the participants will be contacted and will have the chance to meet. They can then have a two-week trial living period where they can decide if the match is right for them. Following the trial period, if successful, both parties will create and sign an agreement form of expectations,” said the iGenNB team.
Cost-sharing items such as utilities, groceries, and internet will be at the homeowner’s discretion, and these costs will be included in each contract agreement prior to the move-in. According to the iGenNB team, the only other costs related to the program will be individual costs associated with obtaining an applicant’s personal background checks.
“At iGenNB, it is our mission to enhance the quality of life by creating a community where older adults and younger adults thrive together, supporting one another.”