Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have some questions? We have some answers.
What is homesharing?
Homesharing is a simple idea. Homesharing enables two or more unrelated people to share housing for their mutual benefit. The home can be an apartment, house, condo or mobile home. A person offers a private bedroom and shared common area in exchange for rent, help around the house, or a combination of the two. Every homesharing arrangement is unique. At its core, it’s about people helping people.
What is NSHRC?
The National Shared Housing Resource Center is a network of independent non-profit homesharing programs across the United States. Our goals are to raise awareness of the benefits of homesharing, encourage best practices and cross learning among programs, and to foster the development of new homesharing programs.
Can NSHRC help me find a match?
No, NSHRC does not register people who have a home to share or those looking for a place to live to help them find a shared living arrangement. We do not have legal authority over the homesharing programs listed in our Program Directory. The programs are independent and are on our website to help consumers who want to pursue homesharing.
Who runs homeshare programs? Are programs regulated?
Programs are non-profit organizations, many of which offer homesharing as one of several services. Programs are independent of each other and are not run by NSHRC. Homeshare programs are not regulated by any state. Programs that join the National Shared Housing Resource Center Network have to apply and self-certify that their program meets best practice criteria practice, but NSHRC does not inspect programs.
How do we set up a homeshare program in our area?
A good starting point is to purchase the Guidebook to Establish a New Homesharing Program. The Guidebook covers the basics of the legal framework, financial issues, different home share models, marketing, using volunteers, and other aspects of operating a Homesharing Program. Click HERE to learn more about the Guidebook.
What are the benefits of homesharing?
The top ten benefits of homesharing:
- Homesharing is a way for people to remain at home where they want to be.
- Many people sharing their home feel safer having someone there instead of living alone.
- Sharing housing can be some of the most affordable housing anywhere!
- Homesharing breaks down loneliness and social isolation. Today, loneliness is recognized as a major risk to health.
- Families of those sharing their homes benefit from the peace of mind of knowing someone of integrity is living with and looking out for their relative. Families of those who find housing know their relative is living in decent, affordable and stable housing.
- Homesharing can delay older people’s admission to more expensive options such as nursing homes.
- Homesharing makes efficient use of existing housing stock..
- Homesharing is a green alternative. More people living in the same space reduces per person energy usage.
- Homesharing is a housing solution to meet the needs of persons with varied economic and demographic backgrounds.
- Homesharing breaks down barriers between generations and cultures.
Who can homeshare?
A homesharer might be a senior citizen, a person with disabilities, a working professional, someone at-risk of homelessness, a single parent, or simply a person wishing to share his or her life and home with others. For these people, shared housing offers companionship, affordable housing, security, mutual support and much more. Homesharing programs can offer a more secure alternative to other roommate options. Many programs have staff who are trained to carefully screen each program applicant through interviewing, background checking, and personal references. Different programs will have different rules of eligibility depending on their funding and goals.
Is homesharing an alternative for people who need care?
Homesharers might provide support to their housemate by cooking meals, driving to appointments, and doing extra household chores. Homesharers are not expected to provide personal care for the home provider.
Are you an online matching service?
NSHRC promotes non-profit, comprehensive, person-centered programs rather than web-based, online matching portals. In order for Home Sharing programs to be listed in the NSHRC Program Directory, they must certify that they meet criteria of best practices including: having agency staff or volunteers who are trained to screen program applicants through a one-on one process of interviews, background and reference checks; offering a one-on-one matching service between people who have an extra room in their home with those who are looking for housing; helping participants define a homesharing match agreement; and, providing follow-up support to both parties once a match has been made.