USA

Most homeshare programmes in the USA are members of the National Shared Housing Resource Center so please check their website and look for programmes which offer a “Match Up” service.

To find your nearest Homeshare Match Up program in the USA click here:

View Homeshare Programs USA in a larger map

Who runs the programme and where?

Homeshare originated in the USA and there are more programs running there than in any other country. In the USA, the term “homeshare” refers both to the match-up programs described elsewhere on this site, and also to shared living residences where several people of like age and/or abilities live together independently. The following information, however, focuses on the match-up programs, of which there are over one hundred.

Who benefits from the programmes?

One of the more serious problems facing American communities today is the loneliness experienced by many people who live in isolation from others. Whether they are alone through separation from loved ones or difficulties beyond their control, lonely people live with a pervasive sadness that usually leads to declining physical and mental health.

One solution to this problem is shared housing: when two or more unrelated people live together as a family. It uses existing housing stock, preserves neighborhoods, keeps people in their communities who might otherwise leave, and avoids institutionalization.

Shared living is an affordable option that offers independence through interdependence; it is known in the USA to enhance and sustain health and well-being. Across the country, shared housing programs and the non-related families they serve are saving housing and health care dollars; and preventing privacy and freedom from becoming loneliness and isolation.

Most programs serve all populations. However, historically, older people make up the majority of those who come to shared housing. Today it is a lifestyle chosen also by people with disabilities, homeless people, single parent families, people with HIV and AIDS, and others of all ages and abilities who want to prevent loneliness. For these people, it provides the companionship, affordability, and mutual support that is absent when they live alone or have no home at all.

What does the exchange involve?

Match-up programs match homeseekers with homeowners; these arrangements are usually inter-generational and there is a service and/or money exchange involved in the arrangement.

How do the programmes operate?

Some match-up programs simply offer a referral service; others offer a matching service and follow a homesharing arrangement from its beginning to its termination. Most programs are operated by non-profit agencies or organizations; however this does not always apply.

How are they funded?

Main funding sources for match-up programs come from County and city budgets as well as from state and private foundations.

The National Shared Housing Resource Center (NSHRC)
The NSHRC works to promote shared housing on a national level in the United States. It was established in 1981 by Gray Panther activist Maggie Kuhn, who saw the need for an organization that would support shared housing programs throughout the country. NSHRC is a volunteer membership organization which provides training and technical assistance through conferences and a network of representatives throughout the country.

NSHRC provides an information clearinghouse, collecting and disseminating shared housing information to housing professionals, sponsors, researchers, consumers, government officials, and the media. The center is a referral service, maintaining a directory of shared housing programs and shared living residences.

In addition, the organization provides publications on shared housing, including manuals on match-up programs, directories of shared living residences and a six monthly newsletter.