Extra room in your apartment? Get Roomi to find new roomies (and make some extra cash). Earlier this week, the free mobile-first platform announced its launch in Chicago. The app, which already has a presence in major metropolitan areas like New York, Austin, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., seeks to improve the way city dwellers look for housemates, thereby increasing affordable housing options and making it a bit easier to move about in some of the most expensive markets in the U.S.
The app, which differs from platforms like Airbnb by exclusively offering co-living situations (sorry, introverts), allows users to create a profile based on lifestyle preferences, budgets, interests, occupations, and living habits. Based on this information, users can seek out shared living spaces or housemates, and rest assured that each listing has been vetted by Roomi’s security specialists. Already, the app has been downloaded 300,000 times, mostly by students and young professionals. And given Chicago’s abundance of this demographic, Roomi hopes its expansion will meet with significant demand.
“Rent in Chicago can vary significantly depending on what neighborhood you’re looking at,” said Ajay Yadav, CEO and Founder of Roomi. “Certain areas can be priced at double the city-wide median, reaching over $2,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. For students and young professionals, finding and leasing an apartment in Chicago can be an exhausting challenge, rivaling the difficulty renters face in New York City.”
As such, Roomi attempts to take much of the legwork out of finding affordable places to live, solving for urban challenges like rising rent costs, stagnant wages, and the seeming impenetrability of an ever-more competitive housing market.
“Challenging economic conditions, high debt loads, and stringent lending standards have prevented countless members of Generation Y — and even many Generation X’ers — who have been waiting to buy a home, from actually doing so. That’s why many who might have become homeowners have instead decided to rent,” Yadav added. That’s where Roomi comes in. We recognize the serious need for an easier way to find flexible housing solutions, but also for a safer and more effective way to find people with whom you’ll love to share that space.”