In the UK, homeshare was taken up in the early 1980s by the late Nan Maitland, who in 1993 launched the first formal programme, in London. In Europe, it is believed that the concept of homesharing was invented quite independently in Spain, where, in 1991 the Alojamiento por Compañia programme was set up in Granada to meet an urgent need for student accommodation.
By 1992 the idea had been adopted in Germany where the award-winning Wohnen für Hilfe programme was founded by Professor Anne-Lotte Kreickemeier in Darmstadt, again to meet the need for student accommodation. There are now several programmes in Germany.
In 1999 Nan Maitland launched Homeshare International (HI) to foster the concept more widely. Homesharing programmes in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, were launched in 2000 as a direct result of Homeshare International’s work.