What is HomeSharing?
HomeSharing is an innovative and creative housing solution that connects women (55+) who are willing to open their home with other women living in the community who are seeking safe and affordable accommodation. Participants benefit from companionship, offset living costs and shared household responsibilities. The HomeShare program’s role is to discover if there is a perfect match for you!
HomeSharing programs are already happening across Canada. These programs are successful, evidence-based initiatives that exist all around the world, in some cases for more than 30 years. HomeSharing is more than just housing; it is about the relationship and companionship between two people based on respect, personal choice and maintaining dignity. The Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre, along with many community partners, are excited to be able to deliver this pilot program to people living in Cobourg and Port Hope.
How it works
Women interested in HomeShare participate in a 5-step admission process. Participants are then matched based on preferences, affordability, safety and compatibility. This process can take some time, however, it ensures matches are thoughtful and thorough.
Although the HomeShare program suggests possible matches, participants ultimately decide who they live with and can choose to exit program at any time.
- Application: To start the HomeShare process, please contact the HomeShare Coordinator for a brief telephone screening to determine if HomeShare is right for you. If the program is suitable the Coordinator will then give you an application.
- Interview: Once we receive your application, we will schedule a time to sit down with you in person to talk about your interest in the program and learn more about you to determine if there is a match out there for you.
- Background and reference checks: As part of our commitment to safety, we conduct a criminal reference check and follow-up with personal references for every participant in the program.
- Match search: Once in the program, we will start looking for a suitable match for you. We review some options with you and arrange opportunities to meet with potential HomeSharers. You have control over who you meet and are interested in HomeSharing with.
- Trial match: After finding a match that works for you, we arrange a “suitcase stay” which is typically a two-week trial to experience HomeSharing with the other person first hand. The Coordinator connects with both participants and either person can decide to end the trial for any reason.
- HomeShare Agreement: If the trial match is successful, the Coordinator helps create an agreement that outlines individual preferences, accommodation costs, household responsibilities and other aspects of living together before the HomeSharer moves in. Training and information is also provided to everyone before a HomeShare agreement begins.
- Ongoing monitoring and support: After the HomeShare agreement begins, the Coordinator provides ongoing support to both the HomeOwner and HomeSharer through regular contact. If problems arise during the match, the Coordinator is available to help.
“HomeShare is about creating a mutually beneficial relationship between two
people who want to help each other”
Frequently Asked Questions About HomeShare
Why do people HomeShare?
People may decide to HomeShare for a number of reasons. It creates opportunities for people to help one another while building intergenerational relationships and greater connections within the community. HomeOwners and HomeSharers also share household responsibilities and costs, creating a beneficial and affordable housing solution for two people.
What is an “accommodation cost?”
HomeSharing is different than a landlord-tenant or room-and-board type of housing situation. It emphasizes two people mutually helping one another and the co-living relationship. The accommodation cost is in place of rent and ranges from $250-$400 per month on average.
How long does the HomeShare arrangement last?
HomeShare matches typically last between 9 -12 months. However, either person can decide to end the agreement at any time. The Coordinator will help find other arrangements if the match ends early.
Who can participate in HomeShare?
For the purposes of this pilot program, HomeOwners must be women (55+) living in either Cobourg or Port Hope with a spare living space to offer in their home. HomeSharers must also be women living in our community who are looking for shared affordable accommodation.
What is “shared household responsibilities?”
In exchange for affordable accommodation costs, most HomeShare arrangements include some agreed-upon shared responsibilities. For example, the HomeSharer may agree to help with gardening, shoveling snow, sharing meals, running errands, etc. Every HomeShare agreement is different and the Coordinator will work with you to determine a good balance and compromise that meets the needs of both people.
Will HomeShare affect my personal finances?
The accommodation costs of HomeSharing may impact your income and tax reporting. It is important to discuss how this arrangement will affect your household finances with your tax advisor or accountant. If you have additional questions, please contact the Coordinator and will help connect you with someone who can answer these questions for you.