Lloyds Bank Foundation and the Big Lottery Fund are putting £2 million into homeshare in the UK – the biggest-ever financial boost.
Working with a number of charity and agency partners they aim to put homesharing on the map as a viable and more mainstream housing solution to the parallel problems of a lack of affordable housing and an ageing population. Partners include Shared Lives Plus, Age UK, The Foyer Federation and the Social Care Institute for Excellence.
The Programme will fund a range of pilot projects with new and existing homesharing schemes and answer key questions about how they work best. Pilots homeshare programmes will be set up through Age UK Oxfordshire and Novus Homeshare in London later in 2015.
Issues for consideration include determining the ideal time-frames for successful homesharing relationships, deciding which social groups are most suited to a homesharing lifestyle and exploring the most effective channels for attracting potential participants to the schemes. The Programme will also examine the different financial models currently used by various homeshare providers and establish the best ways to scale up services in a sustainable way, while ensuring that the costs for users remain affordable.
With valuable insights from its partners, the Programme will work to ascertain best practice guidelines and create an industry kite mark for individual schemes to aspire to. It will also work on improving matching and monitoring services for participants to ensure that as many schemes as possible are able to achieve the standard of an industry kite mark.
Monitoring and evaluation of the Programme
The monitoring and evaluation work will be managed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence and will highlight both the successes and learning points of the pilot programmes to help inform future schemes. It is hoped that the Programme will illustrate the benefits of homesharing for two disadvantaged groups in society and empower them to come together to address their respective lifestyle issues in future.