Staying home in her house, but tired of living alone, widow Joyce Daniels decided to share her housing. Bringing companionship into the home is a major benefit of sharing housing. For help she was able to turn to the Vermont-based HomeShare program, a program that matches people looking for housing with those who have housing. A 2012 article in the Burlington Free Press described in more detail how satisfactory the arrangement has been for her and her housemates. (No longer available on line.)
There aren’t enough of these programs to meet the needs of all the seniors who could benefit from this type of arrangement.
The National Shared Housing Resource Center lists the ones available – and they are few and far between. In a different era we might lobby Congress to make monies available for such organizations as part of the safety net we provide to seniors, especially as there is a body of research that suggests that those who have companionship and help around the home need less in medical services over the long term. However, we live in the current economic and political era, so individuals interested in sharing housing need to do it themselves.
Sharing Housing, A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates is designed to help those who want to sharing housing and have to figure out how to do it on their own. It offers step-by-step instructions, details about how to plan for it and to think about, and how to conduct the search process. The worksheets in the book are also downloadable, once you register on the site.