New Brunswick

Matching NBCC students with seniors to alleviate the housing crunch

NBCC has partnered with Canada HomeShare to match students with people 55 and older.

Project in Saint Andrews, Miramichi aimed at intergenerational living

An older person and a younger person sitting together
A program being offered by NBCC at the Miramichi and Saint Andrews campuses will match seniors who have extra rooms with students needing accommodations. (Shutterstock/Austin Dean Photography)

The New Brunswick Community College is trying out a new program to match students to older adults in Miramichi and Saint Andrews to help with the demand for housing.

Heather Allaby, the vice president of engagement and experience at NBCC, said the college has partnered with Canada HomeShare to offer an intergenerational living program that will match students with people aged 55 and older.

"This really came out of conversations with the community to not only address some of the challenges around housing … but also helping some of our older New Brunswickers who want to stay in their homes, but maybe need a little bit of support to do so," she said.

Canada HomeShare describes itself as an intergenerational housing option that "aims to support aging in place for older adults while providing safe and affordable housing solutions for post-secondary students."

A smiling woman sitting at a desk
Heather Allaby, the vice president of engagement and experience at NBCC, said the college partnered with Canada HomeShare to offer the program. (Submitted by NBCC)

Allaby said Canada HomeShare uses a platform called Happipad, where the homeowner will input information about themselves, what they have to offer and whether they need any help from the student. 

The students will also make their own profiles, indicating what they are looking for.

If a homeowner and a student match, they can decide if they want to move forward with the living arrangement.

NBCC organized information sessions in both New Brunswick communities this week.

man in suit standing in park
Miramichi Mayor Adam Lordon is happy to see the intergenerational living program come to Miramichi. It's something that he thinks can help address the ongoing housing crisis. (Alexandre Silberman/CBC)

Adam Lordon, the mayor of Miramichi, said when NBCC told the city about the program a few months ago, it was really positive news.

He said the greatest benefit of having the program will be addressing the ongoing housing crisis.

"Ultimately, the reality is … we simply need more housing and we can't build it fast enough, so we have to look at other solutions," he said.

But Lordon said it is also great when a program can be implemented to address a critical need that also comes with additional benefits, such as socialization and creating a softer transition for students living on their own for the first time. 

"Our student population is growing and we have a significant senior population, so we're a great fit … for this model," said Lordon.

A building with a large sign in front that says "NBCC"
New Brunswick Community College will be rolling out the intergenerational living program to two campuses to start, including the NBCC Saint Andrews campus, pictured. (Submitted by NBCC)

Saint Andrews Mayor Brad Henderson didn't respond to requests for an interview, but in January 2023, he told CBC News that "diverse" segments of the population were in "dire need."

At the time, he said the local NBCC campus was struggling because students couldn't find a place to live, and seniors on fixed incomes were having a harder time living in the community.

Allaby said Canada HomeShare will provide resources to students during the matching process and if a dispute were to arise between the homeowner and student.

It's quite different to that of a tenant-landlord relationship, she said, but it also isn't entirely new to the college.

"We've had a lot of folks open their homes to NBCC students over the years, but for some, that feels like a very daunting thing to do on your own," said Allaby.

"So working with a partner like Canada HomeShare gives us that little bit of extra support that will hopefully encourage more folks to open their doors and open their homes."


Hannah Rudderham is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick. She grew up in Cape Breton, N.S., and moved to Fredericton in 2018. You can send story tips to

With files from Information Morning Saint John