Sharing your home in later life

[Image: Win Photography, Christmas]

Interest in Homeshare has grown in recent times as individuals and community service managers understand the value of this program. Homeshare is a simple concept. It provides a safe and mutually beneficial matching service for Householders and Homesharers with complementary needs. In these times of rising costs, housing shortages and an ageing population, Homeshare answers accommodation needs for a variety of people with minimal costs to them or the community.

Homeshare has been working well in Australia for sixteen years, predominantly for the benefit of older people, people with a disability and students in need of accommodation. Everyone benefits. The success of the program is attributable to the supervision of professionals who are responsible for assessment, matching and monitoring the match.

Benefits of Homeshare

A] For the Householder:

  • Increased sense of security with someone in the house at night
  • Help with some household tasks
  • Companionship and friendship with someone new.

B] For the Homesharer

  • Rent- free accommodation of a good standard
  • A home for those whose job, studies or circumstances have relocated them.
  • Companionship, friendship and a homely atmosphere.

How does Homeshare work?

Homeshare is a shared housing arrangement based on the barter system. The Householder provides a bedroom and shares facilities. The Homesharer provides up to 10 hours of practical assistance around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, company and the security of someone sleeping in the house at night. Homeshare also has a wider application than those mentioned above, single parent families for instance. The success of the program is the employment of professionals to maintain the integrity of the program.

For help and advice about starting a Homeshare program, contact the Homeshare Australia and New Zealand Alliance.

[Source: Carmel Hurst, Homeshare Australia and New Zealand Alliance]