What is it? Homeshare programs typically match older people with bigger houses than they need with younger individuals or families in need of housing. Younger people get reduced rent in exchange for doing chores like mowing grass, shoveling snow and light housekeeping.
How long have they been around? Homeshares, as a structured entity, began in Northern California 50 years ago.
How is it beneficial? Aside from giving younger people a place to live, it also helps older people age in place. It also protects the house itself from deteriorating if its owners are no longer able to perform routine maintenance.
How does it work? A nonprofit agency vets and matchers homeowners and those in need of housing. Caseworkers keep up with each placement and make sure the relationship is working out for everyone.
Where has this been tried? Vermont is the nearest example of long-term success. Vermont Homeshare was established 40 years ago and has 50 to 70 “matches” at any given time.
Are these arrangements permanent? Usually not, although some last for years. Most often, it allows young people a chance to save up for a home of their own, or serves as a temporary landing spot for employees who have moved from other areas while they hunt for permanent quarters.
— Tim Rowland