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Homeshare scheme for young and old

Older Generation

A homesharing initiative aimed at combating a lack of affordable housing for young people and the growing number of older people who are lonely or isolated is to kick off this month.

The Homeshare Programme, developed by Lloyds Bank Foundation and Big Lottery Fund, will match 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 to their host in return for sharing their home, and b oth parties contribute an affordable monthly fee to cover the costs of the scheme.

 The £2 million investment from Lloyds Bank Foundation and Big Lottery Fund will support the first pilot schemes, which are being run by Age UK Oxfordshire and Novus Homeshare.

Age UK Oxfordshire will receive £172,000 over three years to develop a Homeshare scheme which 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.

Novus Homeshare, which is the only charity currently operating Homeshare in greater London, will receive £183,200 over three years to expand its offering across the capital.

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.”

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.”

The remainder of the investment in the programme will fund further pilots and support the development and evaluation of the programme.

To find out more about the Homeshare Programme, visit www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk/our-programmes/issue-based-programme/homeshare.

Source: Littlehampton Gazette http://www.littlehamptongazette.co.uk/news/homeshare-scheme-for-young-and-old-1-6797921

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