Homeshare Opens New Doors to Independent Living for Older People

homeshare opens new doors to independent living for older people

Six pilot projects offering a positive solution for younger people seeking affordable accommodation and older people wanting to live independently in their own homes have received more than £1.3 million from the Big Lottery Fund one of these project is on the Isle of Wight

The projects are the latest to be funded as part of Homeshare, the UK’s first national home-sharing initiative developed by the Big Lottery Fund and Lloyds Bank Foundation as a new and sustainable model for people with particular housing needs in local communities. It matches younger people looking for reasonably-priced accommodation with older people who are lonely or isolated and can offer a spare room.

The younger person typically pledges around 10 hours of companionship and light domestic help to their host in return for accommodation, bringing practical, financial and emotional benefits for those who take part. Projects have been developed with local partners to best suit the needs and requirements of their communities, and will support groups including students, young care leavers, low earners, people with disabilities and weekday workforces. The pilots will test different models to help make services viable in the long-term.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund said: “Homeshare offers a new and sustainable model for people to live more independently and take control of their lives through supporting one another. It provides new opportunities for young people to find somewhere affordable to live and for older people to retain the independence of living and providing companionship and security. We hope this funding will help establish Homeshare partnerships as a sustainable housing and lifestyle option.”

Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales said: “Too often we separate generations of old and young. Homeshare brings them together in a really positive way so that the older person can retain their independence and the younger person can have somewhere affordable to live. True symbiosis. We’re excited to be working with the Big Lottery Fund and local and national partners to bring Homeshare to new areas with the help of these grants, and show how it can be a scalable and sustainable solution to the care and housing challenges we face.”

A grant awarded today under the Homeshare scheme to Age UK Isle of Wight, with £162,017 to match older people with young people, key workers, weekly workforces, and older single or divorced people. It will work in partnership with Isle of Wight Council Housing and Adult Social Care Services, Isle Help advice hub, the clinical commissioning group-led ‘My Life, A Full Life’ initiative, member of the Ageing Better management group, People Matter Isle of Wight and Carers Isle of Wight.