Leeds City Council is launching Homeshare in September 2016, a pilot funded by the Big Lottery in partnership with local providers including St Anne’s Community Services, Leeds Older People’s Forum and Care and Repair and Leeds Beckett University.
The scheme matches younger people looking for an affordable place to live with an older person with a spare room who needs a helping hand at home. The Homesharer commits to give around 10 hours a week support with daily tasks: those things that can start to get difficult as you get older, like shopping for groceries, cooking and cleaning. (Pet care and keeping on top of the garden are also popular).
Homeshare is a way to help older people stay independent at home for longer. The Centre for Ageing Better tells us without question that home is where most people want to be, quoting 80% of homeowners aged 65 and over wish to stay where they are.
The Homeshare scheme can offer companionship and the security of someone else in the house overnight and can be a real solution to those struggling to manage alone enabling them to stay comfortably in their own home.
What about the younger Homesharer?
Younger people have been hit hard by a combination of rising tuition fees and an unprecedented rise in housing costs. At the same time career prospects are hampered by a need to reconcile high rental rates with low income internships, apprenticeships or low graduate starting salaries.
Homeshare offers an ideal solution for students, weekday commuters, or those looking for a home away from home in a new town or city.
There are also times in life when a period of affordable settled accommodation can help you get back on your feet, such as after a relationship breakdown.
It’s also an interesting life experience and adds something unique to a CV
Homeshare sounds great but can we be sure that it is a safe arrangement?
Cath Ormerod Leeds Homeshare Co –ordiator offers reassurance on this.
‘’We have put a lot of thought into making Homeshare a safe and supported scheme. In addition to application checks including DBS, References and Credit Checks we have a thorough assessment and offer ongoing support. I work with a team of social workers with a wealth of experience working with vulnerable adults and personally have ten years’ experience working as a consulting manager in a Safeguarding context. Homeshare can offer peace of mind for families who are worried about an elderly relative when they can’t be nearby’.
Homeshare is new to Leeds, do you know it works?
Homeshare has been running successfully across the globe since the 1970s from the US to Australia and there are loads of great European schemes. There are also a few Homeshare schemes in communities in the UK. We know it’s a tried and tested formula.
A three year £2m national Homeshare Programme has now been developed by the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales and Big Lottery Fund to put Homesharing on the map as a viable solution to the parallel issues of a lack of affordable housing for young people and the growing number of older people who are lonely or isolated and in need of practical support and companionship.
Leeds is one six National Pilot and another way the city is working to ‘Make Leeds a Great City to Grow Old In’’.
If you are interested in finding out more about Homeshare, either for yourself or someone you know, call and speak to Cath Ormerod on tel: 0113 3785410 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org