HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s no secret that it’s tough to find an affordable place to live in Hawaii.
Some people, including kupuna, are turning to a home-sharing program.
when Leanna Bair was planning to move to Hawaii last year, she knew it wouldn’t be easy. But then she heard about a unique situation.
Bair, an Oahu resident said, “And I thought you know, this would be a great opportunity to not only have affordable housing but also live with someone who also has knowledge about Hawaii.”
The 24-year-old found a roommate and a place to live, through Homesharing Hawaii, which is a project of the non-profit Hawaii Intergenerational Network.
The program helps match people, for free.
Applicants go through background checks, interviews and home visits.
Martha Ross of Homesharing Hawaii said, “Maybe it’s so they want to live with a male or female, that type of thing in the home, are they near a bus stop, is there parking if it’s in town. There’s a lot of variables.”
Not only is Martha Ross the director of the program, but she’s also Bair’s roommate.
“I thought, why not, this is an opportunity to try it out,” said Ross.
There’s a more than the 40-year age difference between the women, but they see it as a benefit.
“She’s been great, she keeps me young, because I’ll go, okay, what does that mean, you hear a word or something that you’re not used to,” Ross said. “And I’ve loved being able to share recipes or share different practices of self-care so it’s been really awesome.”
“She’s also invited me to her friend’s weekly hula sessions, so we do backyard hula sessions on Wednesdays,” Bair said.
They also cook, eat and go on walks together.
Ross said, “I’m glad I took the risk to do it. I wasn’t sure I wanted to, I lived alone for quite a while and it worked perfect because she’s wonderful.”
Ross plans to move soon because she just bought a new condo. And she is taking her roommate with her.
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“She’s like one of my best friends now, so, I mean, I tell her everything,” explained Bair.
If you’d like more information on this program, you can go to homesharinghawaii.org.