Shared Housing


  • Are you a Senior?

  • Do you live alone?

  • Could you use additional income?

  • Would you like to reduce housing costs?

  • Do you need help with chores?

  • Are you willing to share your home?

  • Are you willing to help out to lower your rent?

  • If your response to some of these questions is "yes, " then home sharing might be an excellent solution for you.

    Agencies on Aging

    Why Sharing

    Home sharing is an alternative long term living arrangement where two unrelated people choose to live for the mutual benefits of:

  • Saving money

  • The homeowner can charge a low rent in exchange for household help. The person moving in benefits from the low rent, while the homeowner has some income to offset the costs of the house and doesn't have to pay professionals to do those tasks. Alternatively, a homeowner can charge a near market rate and realize additional income. A $500 a month rent is $6,000 a year. A person living on Social Security alone can find housing that is affordable.

  • Companionship

  • It's too easy to become socially isolated. With a housemate, there's someone to talk to, to ask, "How was your day?" to say "Good morning" and "Good night." Housemates might choose to share meals. They might go on outings together. They might share interests.

  • Independence

  • Many older people find that the tasks required to maintain their home are more than they can do alone. A housemate can take on tasks that would otherwise require professionals, such as: yard work, cleaning, transportation, shopping and cooking.

  • Security

  • There is a comfort in having another person around. It can lessen anxiety and keep things in perspective. No more worries about falling and not being found or other mishaps.

  • Help in emergencies

  • Most importantly for elderly people, should there be an medical emergency a housemate will be aware and can seek help.

  • Living sustainably

  • Sharing a home means that less stuff is required and less fossil fuels used.

    Agencies on Aging

    How it Works

    Each person has their own space, a bedroom and sometimes additional rooms depending on how the home in configured. The housemates share common areas including the kitchen. Before agreeing to live together it is essential that potential housemates agree on how they would live together and clarify their expectations of:

  • Kitchen use

  • Household duties

  • Television/ Radio/ Internet use

  • Privacy

  • Guests

  • Parking

  • Utility payments

  • Agencies on Aging

    Setting Up Shared Housing for Yourself or Someone You Love

    Shared Housing Resources


    Sharing Housing offers consulting, education, and resources of individuals to find their own home-mate. Resources include:

  • Home-Mate Compatibility Assessment Toolkit focuses on the aspects of sharing a home that are the nitty-gritty details

  • Sharing Housing, A Guidebook for Finding and Keeping Good Housemates Anyone for whom sharing housing is a good idea will find it invaluable. Available as paperback and Kindle.

  • Free worksheets to help independent seniors and their families conduct their own search processes.

  • Not-for-profit agencies

  • Match home providers and home seekers.

  • Take into account special needs, personalities, and requirements of each individual.

  • Usual staff procedure includes:
  • Personal interviews with all clients - both halves of the potential shared housing pair.

  • Home visits are arranged for those who are home bound.

  • References and proof of income, are required and checked for everyone who enrolls in the program.

  • After the application has been processed, referrals to possible roommates are given.

  • Potential roommates then meet and interview each other.

  • Once Home sharers are matched they are contacted on a regular basis to evaluate the progress of the match and provide problem solving or mediation if necessary.

  • Shared Housing Clients who have unique additional concerns are also linked with other community resources that may further assist them.

  • For additional information visit National Shared Housing Resource Center

    Please note that NSHRC is not a one-on-one matching program and does not interview clients for home sharing. NSHRC has registered members in the following states:

    California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon


    Interested in adding other shared housing sources?

    Locate Eldercare

       Phone 1.800.667.1166

    Offers local eldercare office numbers throughout the United States to help with location of facilities and services for seniors.

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