Matchmaking website aims to help women find affordable housing

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A new website aims to help women find affordable housing in Ottawa’s booming real estate market by connecting them with other women to rent or own a home.

Like online dating, Nest Egg Canada connects people with similar interests, hobbies, incomes, and demographics. The women then decide if they want to continue meeting their partner.

The site’s goal is to help defray the costs of housing single women by sharing a living space, according to co-founder Catherine Landry, who also owns a marketing company.

Mortgage broker Sue Hameed is co-founder of Nest Egg Canada, which aims to bring women together to help them find affordable living conditions. (Photograph by KIM ING)

She says she was inspired to launch the site after receiving a “tsunami” of messages from women desperate for a place to live.

“That feeling of coming home and opening the door to your house. It’s really, really, really important,” Landry said. “With the housing market off the charts for many… we want to bring people together under a safe roof, to make them feel at home.”

Landry says the website will host information sessions and meetings between potential roommates, as well as financial advice on mortgages, leases and fair market value.

The service is free for tenants who register, while owners pay a fee.

“We want to standardize co-living, it’s a great strategy for affordable housing.” said co-founder Sue Hameed, who is also a mortgage broker.

“It solves the problem of affordability and lack of housing, and also helps people live together in sharing who might not have thought it was possible.”

Family lawyer Kellie Stewart says the new website is essential in helping those who suddenly find themselves homeless. (submitted by Kellie Stewart)

‘It was time’ for this type of option

Family lawyer Kellie Stewart said it was “high time” that this type of option became available to women in Ottawa, especially those going through divorce or family separation who suddenly find themselves homeless.

“It really seems that it is the women who are taken by surprise and who panic. And now ? Where am I going now? said Stewart.

“Rather than saying you have the option of living in your parents’ house or renting a room from a friend, that’s another option… it’s not a refuge, it won’t make them poor.”

Hameed says the website wants to give women the tools to navigate the real estate landscape, whether the goal is to buy a home or share accommodation in their later years.

“Imagine the Golden Girls where two or three retirees can live together and really be companions and take care of each other,” Hameed said.

“Think of a combination of affordability and camaraderie, it’s a win-win situation.”

The founders of Nest Egg Canada say they are open to expanding the service to men at a later date.

The founders of Nest Egg Canada also envision a “Golden Girls” situation where women in their later years live together and take care of each other. (NBCUniversal / Getty Images / Herb Ball / NBCU Photo Bank)


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