Nesterly, founded in 2016, is designed to make it easier for older singletons with spare rooms to rent them to young people who help in the house for a discount on rent. Users sign up to the platform and create a profile, then make a listing for their room. Last year the startup teamed up with the city of Boston, Massachusetts, to test the initiative across the city.
Doctors and policymakers in the rich world are increasingly worried about loneliness. Last year Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon-general of the United States, called loneliness an epidemic, likening its impact on health to obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes per day. In January Theresa May, the British prime minister, appointed a minister for loneliness.