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. It matches people looking for housing with those who have housing to share. A 2012 article in the Burlington Free Press describes how satisfactory the arrangement has been for these housemates. (No longer available on line.)
There aren’t enough of these programs to meet the needs of 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. This is especially important, as there is a body of research suggesting those who have companionship and help around the home need fewer medical services over the long term. However, in the current economic and political era, 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.