What is Roomily?


Roomily is a housemate-matching platform that connects people who need more affordable housing with those who have room to spare. Sharing a house can help both the home provider earn new income and the renter save money. In addition, if the renter contributes regular services to the household, such as pet care, computer training, or gardening, the rent may be reduced for further savings in a mutually agreeable arrangement. Roomily helps to alleviate financial stress, and also helps people create more meaningful connections. The benefits are invaluable.



What are the benefits of Roomily?


Roomily is good for everyone. Home providers earn extra income and renters save money. By offering more affordable housing options, the whole community benefits. Today, too many essential community members including teachers, artists, non-profit professionals, seniors and other mid- to low-wage earners, endure long commutes because they can't afford to live near where they work, or they leave the area entirely. The lack of affordable housing negatively impacts local businesses, non profits, schools and municipalities who can't pay their personnel enough to cover rent and very often can't attract qualified candidates. Benefits include:

  • More housing options and more affordable rents

  • Income opportunity for home providers

  • Meaningful relationships, more shared community connection

  • Supporting economic and social diversity in your neighborhood/city

  • Skill sharing, if a barter arrangement is agreed upon in addition to rent

  • Maintaining healthy local economies, addressing work force population housing needs, and better quality of life

With a Roomily mindset, everyone wins.



Do I have to own the home to use Roomily?


No, you can be renting the home and rent out a room through Roomily. We recommend you check with your landlord first to make sure you are not violating your lease.



How much does Roomily cost?


During this limited trial period, our services are free and there is no cost to list a home, search or community with your match. If a background check is requested/required, the cost is $30 and includes credit history and criminal record screening.


How is Roomily different than other roommate matching sites?


We’re a full service housemate matching platform with a spin. We want to help likeminded people find each other and encourage matches to consider an exchange-for-services model: renters contribute their services, such as pet care or gardening, in order to receive a reduced rent. Our matching is based on compatibility, and we offer support  throughout the entire process. We provide guidance on your first housemate interview all the way to move in day. We’re with you at every step to ensure success.



How does Roomily work?


We are currently piloting Roomily in the SF East Bay area only. To learn more, review our basic criteria here or Contact Us, and we’ll respond to you. Once we verify you, we'll email the password so you can create an account. From there, you can either post a rental or peruse our listings. If you're seeking a room, you'll be able to send home providers a private message to inquire about any rooms that you’re interested in. All Roomily website communication is safe and secure. Roomily will provide hands-on guidance and support throughout this process for both renters and home providers including interviewing tips, checklists, and sample "living together" contracts, as well as home sharing resources to help make your match an A+.




I know exactly what I'm looking for in a housemate. Can I share my preferences?


Roomily’s primary goal is to make successful matches and knowing you’d prefer someone who is quiet and tidy, for example, is helpful. Expressing discriminatory preferences in your application, such as race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, however, is prohibited by Federal Fair Housing laws. Specifying a preferred gender is allowed but only when the home provider is renting out one room with shared living spaces (bathroom, kitchen, common spaces). If the rentable space is an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) or a backyard cottage, for example, and has its own living spaces, then the law prohibits specifying a gender preference.  


What problems does Roomily address?


In many of our cities, the shortage of available affordable housing and the high cost of living has driven out residents - especially low-wage earners non-profit workers, artists, and  workers such as teachers, first responders and other vital service providers. Teachers are passing up jobs. Artists can’t make it and finding untenable and unsafe arrangement. College students are passing up schools because of the lack of affordable housing.

Roomily addresses the dual challenges of housing and living costs by helping others tap into one of the most under leveraged and yet most valuable resources, spare rooms. No building required. No tax dollars needed.  

For renters, Roomily addresses the high cost of living and the lack of affordable housing options head on by connecting home providers who have a spare room with people looking for more reasonable rents. We encourage lower than market value rent in exchange for services bartered by the renter. By using Roomily, renters will have more rental options and may be able to live where they want: closer to work, to school and/or in the neighborhood of their choice.

Home providers earn a new source of income and could receive extra help around the house, which may be especially beneficial to empty nester or older adults. Extra earnings for those on a fixed income, especially at a time when social security benefits are decreasing and living costs are increasing, can dramatically impact someone’s life.


Technical and Website Issues

Why won’t the buttons on your website launch?

Sometimes our website and platform do not operate as well on Firefox. We recommend using Safari or Chrome to eliminate this issue.

I started my room listing but couldn’t finish. When I re-started, it was gone. What happened to all my work?

Currently, the system Roomily uses for posting spaces requires that you complete the listing and then press the “Post” button all in one sitting. If you do not “Post” your listing but close your Internet tab or browser, your work will be lost. We recommend that you draft your answers in an offline document in order to save your work as you go.