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UK’s First National Homeshare Programme Promises Solutions to Social Issues for Young and Old Alike

The UK’s first national homesharing initiative will kick off this month with the first pilot schemes being run by Age UK Oxfordshire and Novus Homeshare.

The Homeshare Programme has been developed by Lloyds Bank Foundation and Big Lottery Fund to combat two of society’s most prevalent issues - a lack of affordable housing for young people and the growing number of older people who are lonely or isolated – by matching young people seeking affordable accommodation with older people with a spare room. The younger party typically pledges around 10 hours of companionship and light domestic help (not including personal care) to their host in return for sharing their home. Both parties contribute an affordable monthly fee which covers the costs of the scheme and contributes towards creating a sustainable service.

The concept of homesharing is already in action in some local communities but has remained relatively niche. The new Homeshare Programme has been created to put homesharing on the map as a viable solution to rising housing costs and support issues for older people. The £2m investment from Lloyds Bank Foundation and Big Lottery Fund will support pilot schemes and evaluation of the programme in order to develop cost effective, replicable homesharing models, so that two different age groups can respond to each others’ needs in a safe and supportive way.

The first pilots will be run by Age UK Oxfordshire and Novus Homeshare:

Age UK Oxfordshire will receive £172,000 under the national Homeshare Programme over three years to develop a Homeshare scheme which will enhance the support it already provides for older people across the county. The organisation will seek to match members of the large student population and the high number of public sector workers in the city with an older population who may have spare rooms available. The charity will develop three basic models of short-term placements, academic year or term, and long-term arrangements, and will focus on determining the optimum length of time and conditions for homesharing relationships to develop and thrive. 

Novus Homeshare is the only charity currently operating Homeshare in greater London and currently manages around 20 homesharing relationships. Under the Programme they will receive £183,200 over three years and will employ a new business development manager with the aim of expanding their offering across London. The funding will support core running costs and marketing, and is intended to help scale up the provision to more than 100 homesharing relationships over five years, whilst becoming fully self-sustainable.

The remainder of the £2m investment in the Programme will fund further pilots and support the development and evaluation of the programme as a whole. Funding for these pilots is available now and more information can be found at: to different website

Paul Streets, Chief Executive of 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. This important work sets out to prove it can work at scale and sustainably. We’re excited to be working with the Lottery and a range of delivery partners in common cause to prove it can be done in the UK.’
Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of Big Lottery Fund said: “Through this partnership we want to bring together people both young and old supporting them to lead more independent lives and to explore the opportunities homesharing can offer. We will also use our specific pilots to test and learn the impact of opening up homesharing to people such as carers, those with disabilities and those with learning difficulties. We want the evidence from these pilots to help others to develop sustainable solutions to high housing costs as well as offering support for independent living.” 
Other partners contributing to the Programme include Shared Lives Plus, Age UK, The Foyer Federation and The Social Care Institute for Excellence, each of whom will offer expertise to inform different areas its development and delivery. The national Programme will draw upon the practice of existing local, independent homesharing schemes with the aim of developing better support for participants, safer and more effective matching services, and implementing rigorous evaluations to refine the system. It will also work to create best practice resources to improve existing small and locally run homesharing schemes as well as informing new schemes.

To find out more about the Homeshare Programme to different website

For more information please contact Annie Hughes: 7378 4613 or visit: to different website

Notes to editors

The partners involved in the Homeshare Programme are:

The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales to different website

The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales is an independent, registered charity which invests in charities supporting people to break out of disadvantage at critical points in their lives, and promotes practical approaches to lasting change. The Foundation derives its income from Lloyds Banking Group. It has awarded over £300 million in grants to 42,000 charities across England and Wales over 30 years. The Foundation has invested £1m in the Homeshare Programme to support pilot programmes and evaluation. 

Big Lottery Fund         

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes. The Big Lottery Fund have allocated up to £1 million to the Homeshare Programme. They would like to explore pilot initiatives and are currently inviting bids. Interested organisations can find out more 

Shared Lives Plus to different website 

Shared Lives Plus is the UK network for family-based and small-scale ways of supporting adults. Members are Shared Lives carers and workers, homeshare programmes and micro-enterprises. They use different approaches to enable people to achieve goals such as; being in control of their services and their lives, pursuing ordinary lives within their chosen families and relationships and  being valued by their communities and feeling like they belong. Shared Lives Plus will support the Programme by providing connection to their network of existing homesharing schemes and helping to identify areas for growth.  

Age UK to different website

Age UK is the country's largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. They provide services and support at a national and local level to inspire, enable and support older people. Age UK stands up and speaks for all those who have reached later life, and also protect the long-term interests of future generations. Age UK will undertake research and provide expertise on working effectively with older people (Householders) to inform the approach of the Homeshare Programme.

The Foyer Federation www.foyer.netGoes to different website 

The Foyer Federation helps to transform the circumstances of young people who have faced barriers in their lives. Its ground breaking campaigns and initiatives are led through a network of learning and accommodation centres known as ‘Foyers’ which  provide up to 10,000 16-25 year olds per year with mutually agreed, tailor-made programmes which give the young people access to housing, learning, personal development, training and employment opportunities in line with their needs and goals. The Foyer Federation will promote schemes associated with the Programme to younger people (Homesharers) through their networks. 

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) to different website  

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) improves the lives of people who use care services by sharing knowledge about what works. They are a leading improvement support agency and an independent charity working with adults’, families’ and children's care and support services across the UK. We also work closely with related services such as health care and housing. SCIE will commission and manage the Homeshare Programme’s evaluation. 
The first pilot schemes are being run by:

AGE UK Oxfordshire to different website

Age UK Oxfordshire is an independent local charity working to ensure that people can grow older in comfort, with support and chances to have a life worth living.  It offers services and opportunities ranging widely from Zumba Gold to singing for fun, and as a founder member of the ‘Campaign to End Loneliness’ is committed to ensuring through its work that ‘no-one should have no-one’.

Novus Homeshare to different website 

Novus Homeshare is part of The London Carers´ Centres Consortium - a charity formed by 19 Carers´ Centres across London, affiliated to the Carers Trust. They aim to help carers and people that need extra support at home to enjoy life to the full. Novus Homeshare is an experienced provider of homeshare schemes, with experienced staff who are passionate about providing a personalised quality service and matching people successfully.  All their homesharers go through a vetting system.


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