It’s not a new idea by any means – non-related people have been sharing housing for centuries. What’s new is the idea that the systems that serve homeless and at-risk families could support and encourage the model when helping homeless families find places to stay in very tight, expensive housing markets.
What is it? A mutually beneficial housing situation where a group of usually unrelated people reside together. Most commonly found in rental properties, more owners are turning to shared housing as a means to reduce mortgage burden. Seniors and vulnerable adults are also turning to shared housing as a way to stay safe in their own home through care-giving and companionship.
Where is it working? In the short time we’ve been researching this model we’ve uncovered GREAT resources, both local and across the nation. We’ll be posting links to those resources as they become available.
North Virginia Family Services Shared Housing Brochure | North Virginia Family Services Sample Landlord Marketing letter 4-25-2011 | North Virginia Family Services Sample SHARED HOUSING AGREEMENT 3-31-2011
Shared Housing Services provides technical assistance to facilitate the matching of those who wish to share their homes with those needing low-cost partner’s an opportunity for companionship, reduced housing costs, a source of income, and to continue an independent lifestyle.
Though SHS works with all adult applicants the major focus is on the elderly, disabled, and those with very low incomes.
Application interviews screen for compatibility of lifestyles and personalities. In addition, references are contacted and a criminal background check is performed with the State Patrol.
Potential home sharers negotiate their own living arrangements and regular follow-up services are provided.
When SHS cannot match applicants then SHS attempts to meet housing needs, either at an SHS facility or through a combination of SHS resources and referals.
Applicants will be referred to other community resources when assistance in developing life skills, alcohol/drug treatment, etc. are needed.