Authorities must consider Homeshare, says UK Social Care network, as innovative Housing approach shows major growth across the UK
An innovative approach that aims to help provide a solution to the housing crisis, and cut down on isolation has grown by almost a quarter in one year – according to a new national report published today.
The Homeshare Sector Report 2016, published by Shared Lives Plus demonstrates significant growth and innovation in Homeshare with several new delivery models specifically developed to support a wider range of participants.
In Homeshare, two unrelated people share a household for mutual benefit to both parties.
Typically, an older householder will be matched with a younger person and offer them a spare room. In return, the younger individual will provide an agreed amount of support to the householder in return for their accommodation.
The report shows how in the last year Homeshare schemes have advanced from being predominantly London based and are now operating in many key cities in the UK; showing an attraction and potential for growth across the country.
Homeshare is an extraordinary concept with numerous and wide ranging benefits for all involved. These can include care leavers, people with learning disabilities and people with long term health conditions. The report shows a surge in successful Homeshare matches, rising by 23% to 222 matches across the UK.
The number of Homeshare schemes has also almost trebled nationwide in one year.
One key reason for this is The Homeshare Partner Programme, now in its second year; a £2 million programme developed by Lloyds Bank Foundation and the Big Lottery Fund to bring together a range of partners including; Shared Lives Plus, Age UK, the Foyer Federation and Social Care Institute for Excellence.
The aim is to support the establishment and development of eight new Homeshare schemes along with resources and support for the wider Homeshare network.
Alex Fox, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus, the UK network for Shared Lives and Homeshare said;
“Homeshare is rapidly becoming a real option to help areas solve housing challenges, and it’s great to see this expansion both geographically, and in terms of the number of people using it.”
The Homeshare model formally operates in 14 countries worldwide and has the potential to change the face of social care in the UK.
“Homeshare is internationally recognised in many countries across the globe. However, limited awareness of Homeshare in the UK means people who could benefit from Homesharing, are trying to access it at ‘crisis point’ when residential care might be a more appropriate option.”
In order to help overcome these challenges, Shared Lives Plus will be asking local authorities and agencies to recognise Homeshare as a viable option for housing strategy and policy decisions.
The Homeshare model helps an ageing population stay independently in their own homes longer, whilst providing affordable accommodation for younger people at a time of record housing shortages and high rents, and Shared Lives Plus believe this makes it a very attractive option for Housing, Health, and Local Authorities.
Elizabeth Mills, OBE DSC (HONS) from Homeshare International says: “It is extremely encouraging to see the developments in Homeshare UK which mean it is catching up with the rest of the world so that even more people will be able to benefit”
“Successful schemes in so many new areas aren’t just part of a local story, but an international one too!”.
Notes to editors:
The Homeshare Sector Report Summer 2016 is available at: http://sharedlivesplus.org.uk/about-shared-lives-plus/home-share
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Key Findings from the Homeshare report:
*Increased interest and significant growth in Homeshare with the number of schemes increasing from 8 to 23 and Homeshare matches increasing by 23% to 222 in the past 12 months.
*Homeshare has moved beyond London and now operates in many key cities across the country.
*Schemes are being increasingly innovative with a number of new delivery models specifically developed to support a wider range of participants including; care leavers, people with a learning disability and people with long term illnesses.
*There is novel thinking in relation to costing approaches with some schemes able to; offer reduced fees for Householders, utilise personal budgets and increase Homesharer financial contributions to the shared household expenses.
*There is an increase in the use of volunteers in the delivery of Homeshare.
*Safeguarding practice and process is robust and effective. There has been no reported safeguarding incident in a Homeshare scheme in the past 12 months.
In Homeshare, someone who needs a small amount of help to live independently in their own home is matched with someone who has a housing need and can provide support and companionship.
Homeshare schemes arrange the matching process between the ‘Householder’, who typically owns their home but has developed some support needs or has become isolated or anxious about living alone, with the ‘Homesharer‘, typically a younger student or key public service worker who cannot afford housing.
Usually no rent is charged, but the household bills are shared, and in return the Homesharer will contribute 10 hours to help out around the house, for example by cooking meals, running errands, shopping trips and providing company. Homeshare works because a new relationship, designed to bring benefits to both people, is balanced with clarity and safeguards to protect everyone.