Homeshare is a way of supporting people to help each other. A Homeshare arrangement brings together people with different sets of needs, both of whom have something to offer. Householders are people who have a home that they are willing to share but they need some help and support. Homesharers are people who need affordable accommodation and are willing to give help in exchange.
Homeshare benefits communities because it:
- provides low-level and preventative support at little cost
- tackles housing shortages and makes better use of housing stock
- allows key public service workers to live in good quality accommodation in expensive inner city areas
- increases community cohesion and inter-generational contact and fosters greater understanding
- Allows older people to have an active role in their community by helping someone else
Homeshare can have a positive effect on the local economy, government and the NHS because it:
- reduces the use of services such as residential care
- reduces the risks of falls, better health and well-being for older people
- increased affordability of higher education due to reduced living costs
- reduced pressure on housing provision by increasing occupancy
- helps recruitment to lower paid public service jobs by reducing the burden of high housing costs.
Safeguarding is paramount in Homeshare. All schemes have a verification process that includes DBS, reference checks and interviews for the homesharer. Homesharers, the suitability of the home and the needs of the householders are assessed before any introductions are made. For more information on how Homeshare works, see How it works.
Homeshare is not a regulated service and there are no legal restrictions on who can set up a programme. However, our Quality Assurance Scheme ensures that Homeshare partners meet our required standards to run safe, effective and successful programmes.
In 2015, the Homeshare Partner Programme received £2 million in funding from the LloydsBank Foundation for England and Wales and Big Lottery Fund. The funding will support the start-up and development of more Homeshare schemes around the UK.
If you would like to set up or commission a Homeshare programme in your area, please get in touch with Homeshare UK at Contact@homeshareuk.org or call 0151 227 3499. Download the Homeshare Sector Report – Summer 2016. Download our FAQs for commissioners.