BoomerRoomers: Old Folks’ New Way To Shack Up

It sounds like a sitcom plot: Baby boomers facing loneliness, and financial and housing insecurity, use a website to find other boomers with houses, apartments, accessory dwelling units — even houseboats and communes — to share.

The founder of does indeed have decades of experience, writing for sitcoms and other shows.

But Jayne Ehrlich is deadly serious about her new venture. It went live on January 1. Now she’s matching boomers with homes, and those who need them.

This is not Ehrlich’s first “match game.” After writing for “Highway to Heaven,” and with 2 shows in development, the Bronx native weathered the 5-month Hollywood writers’ strike in 1988 by opening Malibu Mamas. She drew on her talent for helping people by connecting mothers and nannies.

What she planned as a temporary gig lasted for years.

Jayne Ehrlich

In 1992 Ehrlich moved to Wilton, and opened Hometown Nannies, Screening is thorough. She has placed “thousands of world-class baby nurses, nannies, governesses, housekeepers, couples, cooks, valets, household and estate managers, companions and certified nursing assistants, personal assistants and more.

She meets at least twice with each applicant.

(One early request: an Italian-speaking, baseball-playing manny for the family of a major movie star.)

As rewarding as Hometown Nannies is, Ehrlich kept thinking about housing insecurity. Her interest was piqued decades earlier: As a teenager she worked with a Head Start summer program in Spanish Harlem.

A boomer herself, she knew that her generation would not want to go to “nursing homes,” as their own grandparents had done. But were there alternatives?

The BoomerRoomers logo.

Twelve years ago, she bought the name “BoomerRoomers.” Finally, it’s ready for prime time.

Ehrlich calls BoomerRoomers “a living-alone-together, aging-in-place website.” It matches boomers of all socio-economic groups, by lifestyle and housing preferences.

(Boomers with homes to share have the option of renting to a college or graduate student. But that’s not the main focus of her site.)

Though Ehrlich’s office is in Westport, the January 1 launch focused specifically on New York City. Once she has 5,000 listed home shares, she’ll expand to the tri-state area, and other cities. Her goal is to go national.

The “lifestyle matching” process includes questions like:

  • How much of your home are you willing to share?
  • What about meals? Laundry? Chores?
  • Do you want to share grocery and shopping?

BoomerRoomers is a for-profit venture. However, Ehrlich hopes to spin off into a non-profit. She’s also approaching state and local government agencies, with the goal of helping them create NORCs (naturally occurring retirement communities).

Still ahead: “Living Alone Together with Special Needs.”

Housing options, on the BoomerRoomers website.

Ehrlich’s launch involves a local “boomer corps.” She’s looking for a few retired folks to offer skills with her start-up: PR, networking, social media, writing, fundraising — and venture capitalists.

She also seeks “fashion-inspired boomers,” to be featured on social media.

All jobs are “akin to paid (student) internships.”

For more information, email Click here for the website.

Don’t overlook BoomerRoomers’ “Song of the Month.” February’s featured selection: “Gimme Shelter.”

(Whether you’re a boomer — or older — or a teen or tween, “06880” is “Where Westport meets the world.” Please click here to support our work. Thank you!) 

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