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Homeshare prolongs independence by keeping older people in the home they love for longer by offering a helping hand with tasks such as cleaning, cooking and shopping in return for low-cost, safe and secure accommodation.

What is Homeshare?

A Homeshare is when an older person with a spare room is matched up with a person who is in need of low-cost accommodation, in return for up to ten hours of household tasks or companionship per week.

The tasks that the homesharer carries out in return for reduced rent are agreed during the initial matching process. These tasks will depend on the want and ability of both parties and will be unique to their match, for example, ranging from companionship to dog walking to driving. Homeshare is not a personal care service.

All aspects of matching, vetting, supporting, monitoring and ending the Homeshare are managed by expert staff from one of the seven local delivery schemes.

Homeshare is successful all over the world, with schemes running in the USA, Europe and Australia. This Homeshare pilot is part of the wider Homeshare UK network, who have developed the Homeshare Quality Assurance Framework to ensure best practise and service delivery.

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Why was Homeshare launched?

As a viable solution to rising accommodation costs

  • The gap between the least and most affordable parts of England and Wales has increased over the last two decades
  • Housing affordability has worsened in all local authority districts since 1997
  • The median price paid for a residential property in England and Wales increased by 259% compared to median annual earnings which have increased by only 68%.

To relieve pressure on social care services

  • Age UK analysis shows there are now 1.2 million people aged 65+ who don't get the help they need with daily living activities and nearly one in eight older people now live with some level of unmet need

In addition to the agreed tasks, there is the benefit of having someone in the house during the night time offering extra peace of mind for both householder and homesharer, and also friends and families alike.

Who can take part?

You can be a homesharer if you are in need of accommodation in one of these areas and can offer up to ten hours of volunteering per week.

You can be a householder if you have a spare room in your house (either owned, rented or social) and are living in the following areas:

Do other organisations offer Homeshare?

The schemes listed above are part of the wider Homeshare UK network, which is made up of around 20 different organisations. You can find out more about them on the Homeshare UK Network site. However, please note that only the schemes listed on this page are affiliated with Age UK.

How much does it cost?

Currently the pilot is looking at testing different models and costings. This is to understand what works best in each local demographic and geographic area.

Expected costs range from approximately £0 - £200, so it's best to speak directly to your nearest delivery scheme if you're interested.

Contact Age UK about Homeshare

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Support for Homeshare

This pilot is supported by the expertise and knowledge of the partnership board. The partnership board’s members include Big Lottery FundLloyds Bank FoundationShared Lives PlusFoyer FederationSocial Care Institute for ExellenceOPM  and Age UK to establish best practice for delivering Homeshare in the UK.

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Last updated: Feb 06 2018

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