As we come to the end of Homeshare Week 2021, focusing on the strengths and diversity of the UK-wide Homeshare network, it has made me reflect on our efforts to bring Homeshare to life in Norfolk and the Eastern Region.

If Homeshare is new to you, it’s a form of shared living that brings people together, usually an older person who needs some help to live independently at home and a younger person who needs an affordable, safe place to live. When your home life isn’t working, other parts of your life can also start to unravel, whether it’s mental health, employment, or relationships. Being happy at home is key for your overall wellbeing.

The network of Homeshare providers arrange safe and supportive  Homeshares, but we don’t yet have local provider in Norfolk – we want this to change! Over the last year we have been gathering the views of local people about the potential of Homesharing and working with our partners to develop a new service. We’ve made some great friends and allies and we’re working together to develop a bespoke Homeshare service for Norwich and Norfolk.

The enthusiasm for how Homeshare tackles the housing crisis facing younger people and the loneliness and isolation facing older people has been clear to see. Older people tell us that the single biggest positive of Homeshare is the company and friendship and during the last couple of years we’ve all needed people in  our lives that we can depend on and trust!

We’ve all grown accustomed to stories in the media about the generational divide, particularly when it comes to accommodation. The narrative generally tells us that younger people have been locked out of housing by the older generations, but that’s not what we hear from Homesharers – older people tell us that they want to help the younger generation make a start in life. Homeshare enables people to use their assets to provide safe and affordable places for young people to live whilst also gaining someone to bring conversation, laughter, and fresh perspectives into their lives. What’s not to like?

Find out more about our work in Norfolk here:  Norfolk Homeshare Feasibility Report 2020 – summary

Read about real Homeshare matches here

For more information contact Ben Dunne