Homeshare brings together older householders or householders with a disability who could benefit from help in the home and companionship, with people of integrity prepared to lend a hand in return for affordable accommodation.
The Householder provides a bedroom and shared facilities. In exchange, the Homesharer provides approximately 10 hours per week of practical assistance such as cooking, cleaning, shopping and gardening, as well as providing company and the added security of having someone else sleeping in the home.
Established in 2006, Homeshare Australia & New Zealand Alliance Inc. (HANZA) is a not-for-profit organisation increasing lifestyle choices for older, disabled and younger people. Driven by volunteers, it is a collaborative partnership between Homeshare providers and potential providers across Australia and New Zealand.
HANZA is the peak body for Homeshare services providing information, advice and resources about Homeshare and connects Homeshare programs within Australia and New Zealand to international programs. HANZA is a clearing house of information for people wishing to establish a Homeshare program or those looking to find a Homeshare organisation in their community.
HANZA does not register Householders or Homesharers to help them find a shared living arrangement, nor does it have legal authority over Homeshare programs listed on this website.
Members’ fees provide the major funding available to HANZA. Donations to HANZA Inc. of $2 or more are tax deductible in Australia.
Homeshare is cost-effective and mutually beneficial to the Householder and Homesharer.It allows the Householder to stay in their home and maintain links to the local community and amenities while providing the Homesharer with affordable, long-term temporary accommodation.
A trained Homeshare Program Coordinator will firstly visit the Householder to work out with them what their needs are, and to discuss at length how they feel about having someone move into their home. This is a very important first step because everyone needs to fully understand and be happy about the inevitable changes, even very minor ones, to their routines.
The Coordinator will research and carefully assess a suitable person/Homesharer to introduce to the Householder, and many visits and contacts may be made over time to make sure both parties get to know each other and understand their part in the process.
All applicants are carefully screened, including a police check.
A contract is drawn up to confirm the understanding of both parties and will include the tasks which the Homesharer will undertake to assist the Householder in his/her home.
The worker remains in contact with both parties for as long as necessary to make sure the ‘Homeshare Match’ continues to work well for everyone concerned.
If either party is unhappy, the arrangements can be terminated and the search starts again.
The Householder can be someone with a disability or long-term illness or an older person who is finding independent living physically and/or mentally difficult, but whose preference is to remain in their own home rather than in other supported care accommodation.
The Householder’s home must have a bedroom for exclusive use by the Homesharer, plus bathroom and kitchen facilities sufficient for two people to share.
Often a Homesharer is a student, someone who has moved interstate, or a person in work who prefers not to live alone. Homesharers may be older students on extended visas from another country who respect and admire older people, and who are seeking affordable accommodation.
References and police checks are rigorously researched and the Homesharer is assessed in terms of their personality, interests, values and goals before a ‘match’ is made.
Prospective Homesharers may contact any Homeshare program to register their interest of in a specific location or ask to be referred to a Homeshare program that covers an area in which they are interested to live. Homesharers can also contact HANZA for referral to an appropriate Homeshare program.
It is vital to the success of Homeshare that all significant people in the life of the Householder are involved in the process, as much as possible. The Homeshare Program Coordinator will liaise closely with everyone involved to ensure the Homesharer’s needs are met and that family and friends are provided with the information they may need to adjust to the arrangement.
Homeshare Program Coordinators have appropriate professional training in areas such as welfare, social work and nursing, or have allied qualifications and are usually part of a larger social welfare organisation.
Coordinators share information and experience via Community of Practice teleconferences and HANZA has developed a Planning and Operational Manual.
Service providers wishing to establish a Homeshare program should contact HANZA to discuss the need in their area, their organisation’s expertise and the steps involved.
The HANZA position is that arrangements made according to the Homeshare International Model of Homeshare do not involve the Residential Tenancy Act. Potential Householders and their families should discuss this with their Homeshare provider.