Two Generation CIC’s Natasha Langleben and Philip Monaghan share insights from the social enterprise’s collaboration with local government.
What is homesharing?
A ‘Homeshare’ brings together two people, often from different generations. It helps the Householder (typically the elderly or disabled) to feel safe, gain companionship, and retain independence. It helps the Sharers (typically mature students or key workers) with an affordable housing option as this living arrangement is far below average private rent price. Legally, homesharing is covered under the UK Government’s Tenant Fees Act 2019.
Two Generations CIC was founded in 2018. Established as a social enterprise, with people skilled in social care, alternative finance, tech and public services, Two Generations are able to provide a new solution to complex problems. A homeshare scheme with a difference, as we are set up for scale, using bespoke matching algorithm technology, that brings the two together by filtering for everything from location to culture and lifestyle.
This intergenerational living arrangement is a new tool in the toolbox for local authorities, integrated care systems (ICS) and the charity and volunteer sector (CVS) facing the perfect storm of budget cuts at a time of rising demand for help from struggling residents. Homesharers move in, provide the vital companionship and an overnight presence whilst also offering a set number of hours of household support - helping with cooking, cleaning, laundry - but not personal care. Our technology means we can match the two together filtering for everything from location to culture and lifestyle.
A complimentary offer for public services
We are thrilled to say we have/had sharers up and down the UK, ranging from Birmingham, Dorset, Edinburgh, Kent, and Hampshire through to London, Perth and Kinross, Somerset, Surrey, Warwickshire and West Sussex. To date our longest homeshare was over 3 years. We have had householders and homesharers both over the age of 60 and a householder in their 20s with a brain injury. The benefits of living together are wide ranging both for physical and mental wellbeing.
To build lasting partnerships with local government, we know it is important to get the right people together and connect departments so that we could look at things holistically, as ‘one council’. Asking the right questions to solve complex problems related to unaffordable housing and fuel poverty, blockages to independent living and hospital bed discharge.
Councils, ICSs and the CVS are now working with us to set up pathfinder pilot or joint venture programmes, such as London Borough of Waltham Forest (Place to Age Well) and Harrow Council (Homes For Ukraine). The pathfinder programme involves embedding a homeshare ambassador into the council for a 6 to12 month period and supporting council departments and partner agencies to establish a referral pathway bespoke to their own needs. For some, this is about the early intervention agenda within adult social care, for others it is the cohort living with mild to moderate learning disabilities, or those struggling with poverty who can share utility and grocery bills.
Social impact with a financial payback
For the latest wave of austerity, homesharing can, critically, deliver real cost avoidance for councils, integrated care systems (ICS) and residents alike. In simple terms, this means investment in a partnership on homesharing pays back for just one homeshare, and given the aim is to help hundreds each year in any single locality, the added value to local authorities, ICS’s and the general public is huge.
In addition to these primary benefits, there are secondary benefits too. For example, greener living, as studies show that the carbon footprint of a househare is lower than a single occupancy household.
As a CIC we are passionate about doing the right thing and giving back. A part of this is our reinvestment of revenue in a bursary scheme to help people with financial needs. It is very important to us that money should not be a barrier to a homershare. People are able to contact us to discuss further in confidence.
Case studies from Two Generation CIC are available at www.twogenerations.co.uk/study. For other enquiries contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.