Home share provides a mutually beneficial solution to the needs of two groups of people:
Those in need of housing that is affordable
Those in need of some additional income or support to live at home, usually older people
Home sharing is using the extra space in your home to earn income and to provide housing that is affordable to others.
Home sharing is the exchange of housing for help in the home. A home provider, typically an older person with a spare room, offers free or low-cost accommodation to another person in exchange for an agreed-upon level of support. The support may include things such as companionship, shopping, household tasks, snow shoveling, gardening, care of pets, or help with computer use.
For Home Seekers, home sharing can be a rewarding way to find housing that is affordable in an expensive market, save money for future financial success, and give home seekers purpose in helping an older adult thrive and stay in their home.
For Home Providers, home sharing can be a rewarding experience for people looking to stay in their home but are having difficulty with daily tasks/chores, loneliness/social isolation, or those needing extra income.
One local home share program is Sunshine Home Share Colorado, a non-profit organization providing a social work adopted home sharing model supporting people age 55 and older to age in place by exchanging in-home services for decreased rent, increasing access to income for the home provider. The exchange may include things such as companionship, shopping, household tasks, snow shoveling, gardening, care of pets, or help with computer use. The exchange does not include help with personal care, such as dressing or bathing. This is not just room rental but creating a mutually beneficial relationship between the home provider and the home seeker.
People 55+ who have empty space in their homes are safely and thoughtfully matched using a comprehensive screening process to individuals and families looking for an affordable place to live. Sunshine staff stay involved, conduct quarterly check-ins, and offer mediation if needed.
The matching process includes a thorough screening process through a best-practice social work home sharing model. Home seekers must:
Have no criminal record history or pending charges
Have a form of verifiable income (can be social security, job wages, pension, student loan money)
Be above the age of 18
Provide 3 references
Homesharing is an innovative, often intergenerational, exchange-based housing model in which a home provider, often an older adult, shares a spare room in their home with a home seeker in exchange for money, service provision, or a combination of the two. Results indicated that older adults benefitted from the increased companionship, support in completing daily tasks, and increases in well-being associated with homesharing. Navigating boundaries with respect to sharing space, time, and interpersonal relationships was a challenge when homesharing. Agency facilitation was reported as key to supporting a positive homeshare experience for older adults. Policy implications include the potential for homesharing to save health and social services spending.