HOMESHARE PROGRAM WINDS DOWN
Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre, together with Northumberland County, is advising that the HomeShare Northumberland
program will conclude as of September 30, 2020. The program will not be accepting any new participants and will help support those in the program connect with other community supports. While the program was envisioned to fill a gap in the marketplace – matching older adults with a spare room in their home with individuals seeking affordable housing – limited local participation has led Cornerstone and the County to conclude that the program is not the right fit for this community, at this time.
What is HomeSharing?
HomeSharing is an innovative and creative housing solution that connects single women 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. Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre is excited to be able to deliver this program to people living in Northumberland County.
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.
HomeShare worked for me. I moved to Cobourg at the beginning of this past summer. Not realizing how expensive and less than impossible it was to find a vacant affordable apartment to rent here. I was paying well over my budget for a room in a house with other people. That’s when I had an idea! Since this was a retirement town, I thought there must be people that need help in their homes in exchange for me to live there for cheaper rent.
I asked around all summer until I was handed a brochure about HomeShare. A program that does exactly that! I called the HomeShare Worker and went through the screening process. That’s where I met a lovely lady who needed a little help around her home, garden and someone to help love her 2 energetic black cats. That was a bonus because I love cats. I told her I also like to cook and she was excited because cooking was not her thing.
We went through an interview process, a trial living period, bi weekly and now monthly check ins. That’s my favorite part. To know if anything becomes a challenge, or we have any questions, concerns, we can always contact the HomeShare Worker for assistance.
I enjoy my new living space. I have my own space downstairs and a shared living space on the main floor, where I cook for both of us 3 times a week. With leftovers for the days I don’t cook. We plan our meals a week ahead and share the cost of the food that I cook for us. Sometimes we even shop together. I clean on Saturday’s mornings, that seems to be the best cleaning day for both of us. I also assist her with organizing, downsizing and putting out the garbage.
I not only have a nice place to live. I also made a new friend. Our thing has been to watch Jamie Oliver’s cooking program before I start cooking dinner. It’s become our bonding hour. 😊. It doesn’t feel like I’m cooking and cleaning for her. It’s like I’m taking care of my share of the upkeep. If I lived alone, I would have to do it anyway. Sharing the responsibility and doing things I enjoy, makes living here pleasant!
“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 inter-generational relationships and greater connections within the community. HomeProviders 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 HomeShare Worker will help have these conversations and will assist in finding other arrangements if the match ends early.
Who can participate in HomeShare?
HomeShare Northumberland is open to women over the age of 18 living independently in the County with a spare living space to offer in their home, and for those women in the 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 Worker will help you to determine a good balance and compromise that meets the needs of both participants.
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 Worker and they will help connect you with someone who can answer these questions for you.
Interested in HomeShare?
Contact our HomeShare Worker to learn more, or apply. Call 905-372-1545, send her an email here, or complete the contact form below.