- In every HomeShare match one person MUST be over the age of 55.
- Individuals accepted, as seekers need to have an income level sufficient to pay rent or have time and willingness to provide some services, or both.
- HomeShare is designed for two or three adults. We are unable to serve parents with more than one child.
- Individuals with current, untreated substance abuse problems cannot be served by HomeShare. Persons in recovery must have two years abstinence that can be substantiated with documentation.
- Successful HomeSharers must have a degree of emotional stability, which allows them to be interested and involved in the welfare of others. This program is not appropriate for someone who may have problems that would create additional stress in a home living arrangement.
- HomeShare does not provide home health care. If an applicant needs a great deal of personal care or cannot be left unattended, this program is not appropriate. HomeSharers can provide companionship and household help, but it should be expected that seekers would have activities of their own, independent of the homeowner.
- HomeShare cannot provide emergency housing. The process of matching is careful and somewhat time-consuming and is not a "quick fix."
- Our goal is to promote suitable and long-lasting HomeShare arrangements. Our experience is that hurried matches do not last. It will take time for us to find suitable matches and for applicants to make careful decisions. People in need of short-term housing (less than six months) are not encouraged to apply.
HOW LONG WILL THE MATCHING PROCESS TAKE?
Plan on anywhere from several weeks to several months. You can expedite the process by making sure your references are available and will respond to our inquiries. Also, be sure to give us your current phone numbers (both business and home) so that we can reach you easily. If we already have someone on our list who meets your needs, the process will be faster than if we have to wait for the right person to come along.
WHAT IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOMEONE FOR ME?
If no one on our current list is right for you, you might want to run a classified ad in a local publication using our phone number. We will take calls and screen respondents for you, introducing you to only those individuals who meet your criteria.
HOW MUCH IS THE RENT?
Rent varies. In some situations where many services are needed, such as regular meal preparation, there might be no rent. In situations where there are few, if any, services required the rent might be $300 or more. Each HomeShare provider sets his or her own rent, which includes utilities. Most rents fall in a range of $200 to $350.
WHAT IF I DONT KNOW HOW MUCH TO CHARGE?
The Housing Bureau for Seniors cannot make that decision for you, but we can tell you what other people in similar situations have charged. We suggest you talk it over with family or friends. You can look in the newspaper for market value rents. Take time to carefully think through just what services you would like to have provided. Most of the people seeking HomeShare situations are doing so to save money and to cultivate family-like relationships with older people.
WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE THE PERSON AFTER WE ARE LIVING TOGETHER?
This is the reason for the trial period option. It gives you some real experience together before a definite decision is made. Even after the agreement is signed you can terminate the arrangement by giving 30 days notice to the other person. But don't give up too easily. Sometimes all that is needed is some honest communication and a clear statement of your needs. Your counselor is always available to come to the house and meet with both parties to help smooth out the rough spots in your HomeShare relationship.
HOW LONG DO HomeShare MATCHES LAST?
It varies. Some last for years, others for months. Sometimes a person moves away, or an older homeowner may become disabled and need a more supportive environment. When family situations change, living arrangements may need to be altered.
WHAT ARE THE USUAL AGES OF APPLICANTS?
Approximately one-third of our home seeker applicants are graduate students looking for housing while they are in school. These are mature students who are looking for a family environment. Other seekers are young adults just getting started, women working at minimum wage jobs, displaced homemakers or young professionals new to town. Some seekers are able-bodied seniors who want to live in a shared home.
Most, but not all, of the home providers are senior citizens who want to stay in their own homes but desire some company or need help with home maintenance. Some senior homeowners do not need services but do need the additional income provided by rent.