Newly launched THE Homeshare is a business aimed at giving companionship to elderly people while giving affordable rent to students and professionals. The service aims to match people who live alone & who are looking for companionship with students/professionals who wish to save money on renting. The company organises an arrangement where the student/professional will move into the other person's house for a significantly lower rent than the market value, in exchange for 10 hours of companionship a week.
The mission statement from their website reads:
Homeshare Ireland brings people who need support and people who need accomodation together to achieve something that is vital to both, without great cost to either.
In many countries it is already helping thousands of people.
The aim of Homeshare Ireland is to help older people to live independently, whilst helping younger people and others to access accomodation as they study or build a career.
People availing of the service can expect to pay €150 if the homeowner lives rurally & €195 a month if they live in the city. The homeowner is guaranteed 10 hours of companionship a week from the 'homesharer'. Speaking to the Journal.ie, managing director Lucie Cunningham explains how the idea is particularly attractive to the elderly:
It is for anybody who would like company. It seems to be appealing for a lot of older people because loneliness is a big problem and if they have families that are far away.
Cunningham highlights the importance of pre-interviews of potential sharers, saying that it is crucial to match people up who get along:
The match has to be right, that’s the most important part. There’s one case of a retired solicitor and we matched him up with a law student: match made in heaven. The law student came out with a first in their degree and the retired solicitor was absolutely delighted to be able to share some of their knowledge.