HomeShare International

Who we are

Homeshare International supports a network of professionals worldwide who run homeshare programmes. Our aims are to encourage learning and good practice, foster new programmes and understand the impact of homesharing. We also raise awareness of what homeshare can offer as a solution to many of society’s needs. 

What is homeshare?

Homesharing enables two unrelated people to share their lives for their mutual benefit. A homesharer provides support and companionship to a householder in exchange for free or low-cost accommodation. Homeshare can benefit many people with support or housing needs.

Homeshare programmes

There are now programmes in 16 countries from Canada to Korea, Austria to Australia. These programmes typically match older householders with young homesharers. Homesharing builds relationships, often between two generations, recognising that people who take part have needs and something to give.

Our work

Learning from each other in Madrid

Over 140 homeshare practitioners from 11 countries attended the Fifth World Homeshare Congress in Madrid, Spain in May 2017. Alfonso Fajardo (shown here leading a workshop) and colleagues from Solidarios ran this highly successful two-day event. Read more about the Congress, including the presentations.

French programme supports Martinique

Our French members ensemble2générations recently visited Martinique to help them to set up the first homeshare programme in the Caribbean. e2g is very successful in France, running programmes in several cities, and it has now shared its methodology with many other countries.

Homesharing goes east

Groups in Japan and Korea are now setting up pilot homeshare programmes in their countries and sent delegates to our recent congress in Madrid to network with other practitioners. Both groups are also getting support from Australia where the national umbrella body, HANZA (Homeshare Australia and New Zealand Alliance) supports not only local start-ups but also groups in the Asia-Pacific region.

Homeshare International to partner with Shared Lives Plus

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Homeshare International and Shared Lives Plus have partnered to continue and develop the work that Homeshare International has been undertaking so effectively for the last twenty years. Homesharing has been in the news a lot recently, reflecting its growth across the world. This is in no small measure due to the joint efforts of Homeshare International and its worldwide network, and Homeshare UK with the support of Shared Lives Plus, the UK network for shared living.
Homeshare International has supported the development of homesharing programmes in 17 different countries around the world; the charity has stimulated and undertaken research into the need for and impact of homesharing both for older householders and younger homesharers.  The biennial World Homeshare Congress – now in its 10th year – was developed by Homeshare International.  
Shared Lives Plus is committed to Homeshare UK – and now also to Homeshare International. Over the last three years, Lloyds Bank Foundation and Big Lottery Fund have each invested £1m to expand Homeshare in the UK by funding and evaluating several local Homeshare pilots. The Homeshare Programme brought funders Lloyds Bank Foundation and Big Lottery Fund together with Age UK, Shared Lives Plus, Foyer Federation and The Social Care Institute for Excellence to create a sustainable operating model for homesharing in the UK.  Homeshare International was a consultant in the establishment of these pilots.   
Alex Fox OBE, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus, said, “A working partnership with Homeshare International is a natural development for us.  We are honoured to form this partnership with Homeshare International, building on years of its ground-breaking work. We will be consulting with all Homeshare International’s stakeholders and actively seeking funding to expand and develop Homeshare International’s support for homesharing around the globe.”
Elizabeth Mills OBE, Honorary Director of Homeshare International, said, “I am delighted and proud to welcome this development; after 12 years at the helm of Homeshare International, it is time to step down.  I know that the injection of ideas, enthusiasm and professionalism that will come from the team at Shared Lives Plus will transform homesharing across the world, and make a real difference to thousands of older people who are at risk of loneliness, at the same time helping to tackle the spiralling costs of rental property for the young.”
The Partners
Shared Lives Plus is the UK’s leading network for Shared Lives carers, Shared Lives and Homeshare delivery organisations. Through them we promote shared living across the UK, tackle loneliness and offer independence, a sense of belonging and personal choice – things we take for granted until we need that bit of extra support.  Shared Lives Plus offers a unique overview and voice for Homeshare and Shared Lives through policy, guidance, advice and legal support.  Shared Lives Plus is a registered charity number 1095562.
Websites: and
Homeshare International was established 20 years ago to support the growing network of professionals worldwide who run homeshare programmes. Its aims are to encourage learning and good practice, foster new programmes and understand the impact of homesharing. Homeshare International is committed to raise awareness of what homeshare can offer as a solution to many of society’s needs.  Homeshare International is a registered charity number 1170332.

Elizabeth Mills OBE (pictured at the recent 6th World Homeshare Congress in Brussels) has been Honorary Director of Homeshare International since 2007; she will remain on the board of the charity as Deputy Chair, to support the new partnership with Shared Lives Plus

Alex Fox OBE, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus, speaking at the recent 6th World Homeshare Congress held in Brussels

Brussels congress – a right royal triumph!

Our Sixth World Homeshare Congress in Brussels, Belgium, held on 21 – 22 March attracted a record 200 delegates from 17 countries – and even royalty! We were thrilled when Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians attended the opening presentations and stayed to chat to our hosts, 1toit2ages, programme coordinators, speakers and homesharers (see a photo on our Facebook page).

The two-day conference gave delegates a wonderful mix of formal presentations, panel discussions, stories from homesharers – always very moving testimonies – and networking opportunities.  The papers and photos from the congress will be posted up shortly.

Warmest thanks and congratulations to Claire de Kerautem, Regis and the 1toit2ages team for organising such a brilliant occasion!

A big boost for Madrid’s Convive programme

We are delighted to report that the Municipality of Madrid has recently agreed to double the funding for the Convive programme! And Convive also won a project to expand Convive to cover four new municipalities around Madrid, financed by the Region of Madrid (Comunidad de Madrid). This will be the first time that homesharing has been offered outside the city. Convive’s aim is to reach 150 matches by June 2019.

As regards the strategy, Delphine Liegeois from Convive says: “We noticed that we are mainly reaching people who are very old and use the programme essentially for not being alone at night. So we are planning to start exploring new ways to reach younger retired people too, in order to promote active aging with older people of various profiles. We have been preparing a campaign to be launched shortly – see“

Convive also started to collaborate with CNAV (the agency of the French Social Security managing pensions), and associations from France (Réseau COSI and International Erasmus Students Network France), and Belgium (1toit2ages) to promote homesharing between Spanish, French and Belgian retired people and Erasmus students. Working in this framework may help them to reach active retired people, willing to practice languages and meet young people from other countries. It will also contribute to spread homesharing around Europe.

The project should be developed in 2019-2021. It will include research, a guidebook on homesharing, a web platform Toi + moi for people willing to experience intercultural and intergenerational homesharing, a campaign promoting intergenerational homesharing, and diverse activities in the three countries engaging retired people and students. Convive hopes to secure funding for the project from the Erasmus programme plus the French agency.

Catch up with their latest news at the Brussels congress!

News from “down under”

The Homeshare Australia and New Zealand Alliance (HANZA) has published their latest newsletter.  See HANZA newsletter August 2018 to download and read.

We are always delighted to discover new homeshare programmes are starting, or thriving.  But to learn about a new programme in Prague from our colleagues in Australia is an unexpected pleasure.

Countdown to the Brussels congress!

Our wonderful Belgian colleagues, UnToit2Ages, are well ahead with plans for the next World Homeshare Congress and are already taking registrations! The congress will be held in Brussels from 21 – 22 March 2019.

The Congress theme will be Celebrating homeshare and it will bring together delegates from around the world: Australia, Japan, South Korea, Austria, Belgium, France, UK, USA, Spain, Germany … to share their experiences of running a homeshare programme.

Read more and register on the congress website

You can also read more here.

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