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‘Home Sharing’ pairs unlikely strangers as NYC rent spikes

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NEW YORK (PIX11)-- It's no secret how hard it is to find an affordable apartment in New York City.

The average rent in Manhattan is more than $4,000 a month and Brooklyn apartments now average $2,700 a month.

Some savvy New Yorkers are opening their homes to older and younger people to make ends meet.

Marica Rosenfeld and Carolyn Allen are both New Yorkers but they admit they are as different as can be, but are paired in a special way.

They have been living together for years in this two bedroom apartment in Ditmars Park apartment in this plush Brooklyn neighborhood thanks to a free matching service called Home Sharing.

This free service helps seniors like Marcia, 60 and older, find guests to share household expenses.

The program also serves hosts over 55 who are interested in sharing with developmentally disabled adult guests capable of living independently.

Marcia admits it saved her home and her life.

"I could not be here without this program," Marcia said. "No question about it."

It also helps Carolyn afford a really nice place to live.

"If I went on my own to find an apartment it would cost $1000 for one bedroom," Carolyn said. "I don't think there's a home here in this neighborhood for less than a million dollars!"

Linda Hoffman, president of NY Foundation for Senior Citizens, oversees the program and say its far from a new idea.

The program has been around since the 1980's but its really catching on now Hoffman says.

The key to the program is the magic combination of unique data base called quick match that uses 31 lifestyle questions to measure compatibility.

"Social work works that components alone, helps making sure their references are checked and they have a history of managing their moneys," Hoffman said.

It may be odd at first letting a stranger into your home, but so far the success rate of matches are better than eHarmony: 100 percent.

For more information on Home Sharing, visit nyfsc.org.