BARRIE -- A new initiative between Georgian College and the City of Barrie will address the ongoing challenge of affordable student residency.

The pilot project, called the Homeshare Program, would match a Georgian College student with a 55+ adult willing to share their home at reduced rent in exchange for light household tasks or companionship.

"This is about helping seniors age well at home, helping students find housing, and helping residents get affordable, nutritious food through innovative partnerships that tackle root causes," explained Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman.

Students could be required to tackle tasks such as carrying groceries, dog walking, light household cleaning, and preparing shared meals.

"It's a great opportunity to mitigate social isolation for interaction between people of various ages," said Martin Rochon, Georgian College.

The Homeshare Program is set to begin in September with the aim of matching 10 students with adults.

A similar program has proved successful in Toronto for several other post-secondary schools.

The partnership between the college and the city will also roll out another project to explore food insecurity through technology. The program aims to increase access to fresh food at affordable prices. This project is still in the early stages.