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Increased isolation among older people and a lack of affordable rental accommodation for younger people are two of society’s big challenges. Homeshare is a scheme which provides an opportunity to tackle them both.

How we're Influencing Policy and Practice

We worked in partnership with National Lottery Community Fund to support Shared Lives Plus, Age UK, The Foyer Federation and Social Care Institute of Excellence to develop and spread this innovative approach.

Homeshare is a scheme which matches young people seeking a place to live with older people who have a spare room and need a helping hand at home. The younger person typically pledges around 10 hours of companionship and light domestic support (not including personal care) to their host in return for accommodation. Both parties contribute an affordable monthly fee which contributes towards the cost of the matching process, running the scheme and creating a sustainable service. 

Our funding helped to introduce Homeshare to new areas, initially focused on Novus Homeshare and Age UK Oxfordshire. The scheme was also introduced to Isle of Wight (Age UK IOW, Leeds (Leeds City Council), Rochdale (PossAbilities), Knowsley (Knowsley Housing Trust) and Edinburgh (Edinburgh Development Group).

An independent evaluation of the scheme highlighted benefits including improvements in the wellbeing of participants, intergenerational learning and a reduction in costs in health and social care services. That’s not to say the pilots weren’t without their challenges – conflict resolution and increasing support needs of householders presented key challenges.

Shared Lives Plus is continuing to share the learning from the evaluation and promote the scheme. To find out more information about Homeshare, to see if there is a Homeshare scheme near you, or to register an interest visit the Homeshare UK website