AN EXCITING PROJECT WORKING WITH OLIVER LETWIN MP TO ESTABLISH A NETWORK FOR SHARING HOMES.
ELDERLY CAN AVOID LOSING THEIR HOME BY SHARING WITH SOMEONE SEEKING ACCOMMODATION
Image from Crossroads Care's website
The Homeshare concept is not a new one. Areas of the country such as London - under the guidance of Crossroads Care - have been managing thriving Homeshare schemes for years. The basic idea is that an older person, perhaps with a home they cannot manage but do not want to leave for a nursing home, can share it with another on equal terms, in return for basic assistance as agreed. This also allows for younger individuals to find affordable accommodation.
Pioneered by NAAPS (the National Association of Adult Placement Services), The Chandos worked with its chief executive Sian Lockwood OBE to extend the idea for Dorset. NAAPS is now called Shared Lives Plus and The Chandos is working for the same outcome with its present Chief Executive, Alex Fox.
Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset, has worked closely with The Chandos to set up such a scheme in Dorset. More recent meetings have recognised that concerns about possible liability make it preferable to set up an independent on-line facility first. Not only is the funding already secured for this but it has the potential to be a nationwide operation. Letwin's involvement is significant as he is also responsible for this government's overall policy review.
The Chandos is also working with Bob Williams, who has already set up an on-line model for Homeshare under the name Uniitee and has the expertise to create the new on-line facility envisaged.
The potential benefits of such a scheme are obvious. Not only does it encourage sociability but can avoid depression and accidents. It also has huge savings to the state; in welfare budgets as well as housing provision. It is therefore clearly in line with the government's Big Society strategy, while helping to reduce costs to the exchequer.
Though the scheme is still in its infancy in the UK, it is much more developed in the US and mainland Europe where in Paris alone, the Homeshare concept is larger than in the whole of the UK.