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Sparrow Raises $1 Million For Homesharing Platform Helping Canadians Live Better Together

10/18/2022 | 07:04am EST

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Accenture lead funding

TORONTO, Oct. 18, 2022 /CNW/ - Sparrow, a technology-driven social enterprise, has received $1 million in funding for its homesharing platform and community that aims to address housing affordability and loneliness in Canada.

The Government of Canada has provided $500,000 in funding as part of the National Housing Strategy Innovation programs. Accenture also provided $500,000 in funding and both organizations will continue to support the Sparrow team with technical and industry expertise through its launch.

The Sparrow platform connects Canadians with spare bedrooms to those looking for accommodation of minimum two-months, enabling hosts to generate passive income and build social connections by renting out unused space in their homes, while renters benefit from access to housing, typically below market rates.

A CCEA study estimated there are 5 million empty bedrooms in Ontario. Based on census data, we estimate that there are over 12 million empty bedrooms across Canada.

"The pandemic has deepened two parallel Canadian crises - housing affordability and loneliness," says Oren Singer, CEO and co-founder at Sparrow. "We have an opportunity to normalize homesharing by making it easier, safer, and more enjoyable to share unused housing space. With Sparrow, we are enabling pathways for Canadians to find budget-friendly accommodation, unlock existing housing supply, and live better together," said Singer.

The Sparrow collaboration is a result of the National Housing Strategy's work to foster new, innovative ideas, and accelerate or scale solutions that address our country's most pressing housing issues, and Accenture's focus on enabling young companies to realize their full potential. The investment has funded a core team of four employees, including founders Oren Singer and Gavin Servai, as well as the platform's development and pilot launch. The team plans on expanding to all neighborhoods in need across Canada.

"The National Housing Strategy is about finding new and innovative ways to provide Canadians with more affordable rental options. In addition to low rent housing opportunities, social benefits associated with home sharing include reduced social isolation and providing seniors with more choices as they age comfortably, this is another great example of how we are supporting innovative affordable housing solutions to better meet Canadians' needs," said The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion.

Anant Gadia, a managing director in Accenture's Public Service practice in Canada, added: "Sparrow is using innovation to re-think how we tackle society's chronic issues and make tangible positive impact. At Accenture, we have a passion for creating new solutions that benefit society and we share Sparrow's vision in tackling major social and economic challenges through novel ideas and technology."

Sparrow places safety at the center of its services, embedding identity verification, background checks, homeshare agreements, and screening interviews into its matching process. The platform also includes compatibility matching, to enable better connections based on habits, lifestyle, and living preferences. Canadian populations forecasted to benefit from the platform include seniors, retirees, post-secondary students, empty nesters, newcomers to Canada, and first-time home buyers.

"We'd like to help Canadians reduce their housing costs, enhance their quality of life, and build meaningful relationships through putting those 12 million empty bedrooms to good use," added Singer. 

Homeowners and renters can sign up by visiting www.sparrowshare.com or emailing hello@sparrowshare.com.

Housing and isolation quick facts:
  • The Canadian rental market continues to become less affordable. According to Oxford Economics, Vancouver was ranked as the least affordable city in North America, with Toronto not far behind in third place.
  • Almost 20 per cent of Canadian seniors are defined as having a housing affordability problem. This number is doubled for seniors living alone.
  • According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), long before the pandemic, loneliness was considered a growing public health problem, even labelled an epidemic. 
About Sparrow 

Sparrow is a homesharing platform and community that matches together hosts who have spare bedrooms with people seeking budget-friendly places to live. As a technology-driven social enterprise, Sparrow's mission is to create exceptional shared living experiences that are flexible, accessible, and sustainable. Founded in December 2020, out of Toronto, Canada, Sparrow is proudly supported by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Canada's national housing agency, and Accenture, a professional services company.

To learn more, visit www.sparrowshare.com, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

About CMHC

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC's aim is that, by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home that they can afford and that meets their needs.

For more information, follow CMHC on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Technology and Operations services and Accenture Song — all powered by the world's largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 721,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

SOURCE Accenture

© Canada Newswire, source Canada Newswire English

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