Could home sharing be the solution for you?

slanders who are struggling to find or keep a home can now benefit from a home-sharing project which is new to the Isle of Wight.

Thanks to Big Lottery funding, Age UK’s Homeshare project could provide a simple solution for householders who have spare space and those who are looking for alternatives to renting or buying.

The project provides a matchmaking service where housing is exchanged for help.

Householders offer their spare room and facilities to sharers who, in return, provide an agreed amount of assistance with household tasks (not personal care) and contribute to living costs.

Every home share is shaped to the specific needs and expectations of both parties. The details of how they will live together, help one another and get along are negotiated with the support of HomeShare co-ordinators, who are also responsible for recruiting, screening and carefully matching candidates.
Established schemes elsewhere have shown home sharing is a good fit for many circumstances.

Householders may be finding their homes are becoming too big for their needs – families fly the nest, relationships may have broken down, or support from relatives isn’t an option. Chores may be difficult and, while downsizing could relieve the pressure, it may also mean leaving cherished homes and familiar communities.

For home seekers, sharing can provide a flexible, short or long-term alternative to rental or purchase. It can create an opportunity to consider options, save for more permanent solutions, wait for social housing to become available (sharing won’t affect ranking on the homefinder register), or even serve out a probationary period for employment before putting down roots.

Beyond the obvious practical benefits, home sharing yields many unexpected gains. Peace of mind, new friendships, enjoyable company, reduced concerns and the increased happiness that comes from sharing and helping one another out.

To see how it’s already working, visit www.homeshareiow.org, catch up with the HomeShare Co-ordinators at various drop-in events over the summer (details on website), or give them a call at Age UK IW, on 01983 525282.

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