0151 227 3499 Contact@Homeshareuk.org

Frequently asked questions

What is Homeshare?

Homeshare is a way of helping people to help each other by exchanging their resources. In a Homeshare, someone who needs a small amount of help to live independently in their own home (householder)is matched with someone who has a housing need and can provide support and companionship (homesharer).

In return for 10 hours a week of help around the home, a householder provides a room and shared facilities rent-free to a homesharer.

Homeshare is not a new idea – we are part of a global movement of Homeshare organisations.

What is Shared Lives Plus?

Shared Lives Plus is the UK network for Shared Lives and Homeshare.

Homesharing sometimes occurs informally. The Shared Lives Plus Homeshare Network members facilitate these mutually beneficial relationships in a way that is safer and more widely accessible.

Shared Lives Plus provides support, advice and a collective voice for Homeshare schemes.

How does homesharing work?

Homesharing relies on friendship, mutual respect and support. Both parties have a need and something to give. The householder provides a room and shared facilities free of charge to the homesharer. In return the homesharer provides companionship and roughly 10 hours per week of help with agreed tasks.

Apply to homeshare

How do I become a householder?

If you’re interested in homesharing, you can find a scheme near you to contact directly or you can make an initial enquiry online.

A Homeshare coordinator will be in touch to arrange an interview and assessment. For the coordinator to find the best match for you, they need to get to know you.

The scheme will take references, assess your property for suitability and then offer you a selection of candidate homesharers for you to consider.

After you’ve been matched with a homesharer, an introductory meeting will be arranged with the coordinator present. You may also like to have a friend or family member present at this time.

If the introduction is a success then the coordinator will support you and  the homesharer to produce a voluntary agreement. This will   detail your responsibilities to each other and specify an “end date” for your match (this can always be extended later).

You may then want to have  a trial period with the homesharer which is generally between 2 and 4 weeks.

You’ll have regular contact (a mix of face to face, phone calls and email) with your coordinator during your Homeshare. This  allows your  coordinator to monitor and support the progress of your arrangement and ensure that both you and your homesharer are happy, well and safe.

What about personal care?
A homesharer does not provide any elements of personal care to the householder. Personal care includes: bathing, medication administration, lifting and feeding. However, it is possible for a homeshare arrangement to sit alongside a separate personal care service.
How do I become a homesharer?

If you’re interested in homesharing, you can find a scheme near you to contact directly or you can make an initial enquiry online.

A Homeshare coordinator will be in touch to arrange an interview and assessment. For the coordinator to find the best match for you, they need to get to know you.

The scheme will take references and a DBS check and may write up a profile for you which will be shared with potentially compatible householders.

If a householder selects your profile, an introductory meeting will be arranged with the coordinator present. The householder may also have a friend or family member present at the meeting.

If your introduction is a success, the coordinator will support you and householder to produce a voluntary agreement. This will detail your responsibilities and specify an “end date” for your match (this can always be extended later).

You may then want to have a trial period with the householder which is generally between 2 and 4 weeks.

You’ll have regular contact (a mix of face to face, phone calls and email) with your coordinator throughout your homeshare. This allows your coordinator to monitor and support the progress of your arrangement and ensure that both you and your householder are happy, well and safe.

What would I do as a homesharer?

Homeshare agreements are flexible and tailored to the needs and abilities of the parties involved.
Homesharer responsibilities might include:

  • Shopping
  • Gardening
  • Light housework
  • Errands
  • Or simply providing some companionship while you share a favourite TV programme together.

Read more about becoming a homesharer

How much does it cost?

The homesharer does not pay rent to the householder. Instead both parties pay a fee to the Homeshare scheme to cover the costs incurred in finding and supporting good matches.The homesharer may also pay a contribution to household bills.

Fees paid to Homeshare schemes vary to reflect local economies. On average a homesharer will pay £160 per month and a householder will pay £140 per month to the Homeshare scheme which represents a significant saving on accommodation and similar domestic help.

What are the advantages of homesharing?
Homesharing increases social interaction for both parties, it enables householders to keep their independence and gain a sense of security and provides homesharers with low cost, sociable and safe accommodation.
What are coordinators?

Homeshare scheme coordinators come from a variety of backgrounds but all have a working knowledge of the areas they serve and a passion for safe, successful homesharing.

Coordinators work hard to understand the needs, skills and goals of homesharers and householders so they can identify the best possible matches.
Coordinators:

  • Interview
  • Background check
  • Assess for suitability
  • Identify compatible matches
  • Facilitate the production of a voluntary agreement between householders and homesharers
  • Monitor and support matches via regular contact
  • Mediate any issues arising between homesharers.
How long does a match last?
The average Homeshare match length is nine months – the longest current match has been active for 5 years!
Where can I homeshare?

There are currently 23 Homeshare schemes (including two offering national coverage) focussing on the following geographic areas:

  • Greater London
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Midlands
  • Bath and Bristol
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Leeds
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Southern England
  • Adur and Worthing
  • Knowsley
  • Rochdale and Greater Manchester
  • Shropshire and the surrounding area
  • Dublin

Find a Homeshare scheme now.

What if something goes wrong?

The Homeshare coordinator is there to provide support if something goes wrong. Sometimes a little assistance from the coordinator in communicating expectations or concerns, is all that it takes to get a match back on track. Most homeshares come to an end because of the homesharer needing to move to a different area for work or a householder requiring more support than a Homeshare can provide.

There is normally a notice period of a month for anyone wanting to end their Homeshare arrangement prematurely. However, in the case of gross misconduct, there is no notice period.