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Cassidy Murphy

As we’re all aware – and as the Estately graphic that went around yesterday makes abundantly clear – rent in and around Boston is rapidly rising out of the reach of most would-be city-dwellers (including this one). But a cohort of Boston startups have banded together to offer a year of free rent in a luxury apartment, and a raise money for a homeless youth shelter in the process.

Here are the key players:

  • Sumu: Boston-based startup providing direct-to-renters apartment listings (no-fee apartments only).
  • Flutter: a fundraising platform for local charities developed by Tom O’Keefe (also known as @BostonTweet). The basic idea is, you donate money for a chance to win “an amazing local experience,” and the money is donated to a local charity. Which brings us to:
  • Y2Y Harvard Square: a peer-run homeless shelter for local youth, headquartered in the Unitarian Universalist First Parish in Cambridge. (You may have read about it in The Boston Globe last year.)
  • Chroma Cambridge: A luxury apartment building now leasing in Cambridge at 240 Sidney St. Studios start at $2,300 and range from 475 to 519 square feet; the largest apartment are three-bedroom townhouses starting at $4,600 and ranging from 1182 to 1230 square feet.
The bedroom of the rent-free Chroma Cambridge apartment to be raffled to benefit Y2Y.

The bedroom of the rent-free Chroma Cambridge apartment to be raffled to benefit Y2Y.

Here’s the deal: a $10 donation to Y2Y via the Sumu-Flutter partnership gets you one entry into a raffle to win a year of free rent in a one-bedroom at Chroma (retail $3,000 per month). You can also lengthen your odds – your donation produces a unique link to the donation site, and for each subsequent person who donates, your name goes into the raffle again. Kind of like the Hunger Games, but less cutthroat.

The one-bedroom Chroma Cambridge apartment will be fully furnished by Wayfair, and it include in-apartment laundry, an on-site gym and fitness center, access to the roof deck and garage parking.

You can donate here.

Free Rent For A Good Cause

by Cassidy Murphy time to read: 1 min