If your bank account is in the red but you need a place to rest your head, you may want to expand your roommate search to a (much) older age demographic. This roommate compatibility app will help millennials save on rent in Vancouver by living with local seniors.
Happipad is an authenticated home-sharing platform which began in Kelowna and the Okanagan area and has now officially extended to the Greater Vancouver Area and Vancouver Island.
This is the perfect option if you're living in Vancouver but renting an apartment on your own is fiscally impossible. Why not share a space with an elderly person while saving money and you won't have to worry about rowdy, obnoxious roommates.
We chatted with Happipad's CEO & Co-Founder, Cailan Libby to learn what it's all about. "We believe in matching compatible people together," he told us.
The platform works to connect homeowners ('hosts') and renters ('guests') to offer a less risky and more affordable renting option. Many of the hosts are homeowners who are over-housed with empty rooms but may not be comfortable opening up their homes to total strangers.
On the flip side, the renters are people who are struggling to find affordable, enjoyable, safe living situations. Happipad works to connect the two. As you'd imagine, most of the renters dealing with high costs of living in Vancouver are millennials and most of the hosts are baby boomers.
The platform works through a very thorough application and vetting process for both hosts and guests. First, you create your listing on the website. You'll answer questions like "dietary habits, sleeping habits, cleanliness, how you like to use your home, personality traits like if you’re introverted, extroverted, what types of activities you do," etc. Libby explained.
If you're a self-proclaimed "Millennial Grandma" you'll have no issues with this process. Anyone else watching crime documentaries on Netflix and munching on popcorn every weekend? Talk about low maintenance.
Once you're accepted, you can cruise through hosts' or guests' profiles on a map like you would on Airbnb.
Libby told Narcity that they are working on recruiting as many hosts as possible across B.C. to serve more renters. "Currently we have about 300 new hosts across B.C. who have expressed interest in hosting and we are going through those as fast as possible to get them online," he explained. "Our hosts range from mid-30s up into the 90s."
The service began with a focus on university cities first, like Kelowna and Vancouver. Next, they plan to focus on resort towns like Whistler or Revelstoke, for example, areas that are known for housing seasonal workers as well as older homeowners with extra bedrooms. Happipad has also been in conversations with the City of Edmonton and some other cities out in eastern Canada.
Libby explained where the idea for Happipad came from, "The boomer population owns the majority of the homes in our country and the millennial generation is struggling with housing affordability,".
So, Vancouver millennials, are you ready to meet your new best (and oldest) friend and save a couple of bucks in the process? You know what to do.