Young and old to live together, as new Homeshare scheme launched in Somerset 

A Home share scheme matching homeowners in need of support with people looking for affordable accommodation has been launched in Somerset.  

The scheme is managed by Supportmatch Homeshare, and sees an older or disabled homeowner provide a room in their house in exchange for 10-15 hours support per week.  

Home sharers could provide help around the house such as cooking, cleaning, basic DIY, and help with using technology, as well as companionship, support, and overnight security and presence. 
 
The scheme helps older and disabled people to continue living independently in their own home, and helps young professionals and students find affordable accommodation in a safe and secure home. Both parties enjoy significant savings, with the homeowner saving money on support, and the homesharer finding accommodation which is considerably cheaper than equivalent rental properties.  
 
The scheme has been run successfully in other parts of the UK, with service users reporting benefits ranging from companionship, saving money, and improved quality of life.  
 
Zaira de Novellis, Managing Director of Supportmatch Homeshare said: “Due to the ongoing housing crisis in many locations across the UK, the majority of our Homesharers are now aged between 26-35 (67%), including young professionals, university students as well as public sector workers, all of who need affordable accommodation and a place to call home. 

“There has also been an increased interest in individuals aged 50-60+ looking to become a Homesharer who have similarly been impacted by lack of affordable housing, or simply because they value companionship. 

“As a Homeshare service provider, we have worked extremely hard to ensure older people are aware of Homeshare as an option for help and a friendly face around the house, which has led to a 41% increase in the number of Householders wanting to Homeshare at the end of December last year”. 

Mel Lock, Somerset County Council’s Director for Adult Social Care said: 
 
“Somerset residents and national research tell me that most older and disabled people want to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Likewise, we know many younger people are struggling with rising rental costs and property prices. Supportmatch Homeshare solves both of these problems, enabling homeowners to get the support they need to remain in their own home, and helping homesharers find low-cost accommodation.”  
 
Those interested in the scheme – whether homeowners or prospective homesharers – can find out more by visiting: https://supportmatch.co.uk/  

Supportmatch Homeshare have a very simple referral process:   

Application form for householders:  

https://supportmatch.co.uk/householder-application/

Application form for homesharers:  

https://supportmatch.co.uk/homesharer-application/

Contact via email – info@supportmatch.co.uk   

Contact via telephone 0203 6336066 

Kick start your career in social care – visit: www.proudtocaresomerset.org.uk/jobs“ 

Care providers looking to recruit can upload their vacancies via: Proud to Care – submit a new job role – Somerset County Council 

ENDS 

For more information, please contact the press office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk 

NOTES TO EDITORS 

  • Despite the pandemic, house prices rose again in 2021 with the average house price in September 2021 at a record high of £270,000; £28,000 (11.8%) higher than September 2020, making it even harder for young people to save towards purchasing their first home 
  • In 2021 there was an increase of 5% on the number of people Homesharing 
  • By December 2021 there was a 41% increase from last year on the number of older people wanting to Homeshare 
  • Homesharers provided over 196,000 support hours to Householders 
  • Householders report benefits of tackling loneliness and the comfort of an overnight presence in the home 
  • Homesharers report the top benefits as a safe and affordable place to live as well as the feeling of giving back to the local community  

Supportmatch Homeshare is a registered and approved Homeshare UK National Company that provides Live-In Help and Support in exchange for affordable accommodation in the form of a spare room to people in our community.