Shared Homes Swansea, the first Homeshare service in Wales, launches On 5th April the first Homeshare service in Wales begins – and it’s in Swansea! Shared Homes Swansea will bring cheer by matching older people living alone with those seeking affordable accommodation. Older people in Wales want to stay living at home for longer. In Wales, 54% of people aged 60-74 and 49% of people 75+ years, said they felt lonely sometimes (ONS). Using the ‘Homeshare’ model, Shared Homes Swansea will match people together for mutual support where a person who has a spare room and is looking for company and a bit of practical support shares their home with someone looking for affordable accommodation. Both people benefit from the companionship and having a friendly face at home. The householder typically receives 10 hours per week of practical support provided by the homesharer such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, gardening or even playing a game (no personal care is involved). Dave Howes, Director of Social Services in Swansea says We’re delighted to see the Shared Homes Swansea programme launching through our partners SCVS. Independence in older age is so important to people’s quality of life, and this project, which can reduce loneliness, provide low level support to enable people to stay in their own homes for longer, and offer affordable accommodation, is very timely and welcome. We look forward to seeing Shared Homes Swansea go from strength to strength! Younger people are being priced out of the villages, towns, and cities they want to live in, like Swansea, for work or study. Latest figures again show that the average age at which people can leave home even to rent is rising along with the proportion of income spent on housing. Many people in mid and later life are also finding themselves without affordable housing options after the impact of the pandemic. Shared Homes Swansea has been set up by Swansea Council for Voluntary Service (SCVS), who work to support and develop the Third Sector in the County by providing a wide range of information, advice and support services. Roxane Dacey, Shared Homes Swansea Coordinator at SCVS says: “For most of my career I’ve seen older people with so much to give struggle because they’re on their own. They are independent, sociable and don’t need social care services, but their lives could improve so much just by having that bit of support and companionship that everyone needs and deserves. Many individuals need a bit of extra support to maintain their independence at home for longer and do not need to access Social Care Services until their needs increase. On the other hand, there are so many people, who can’t find a place to stay because house prices are so high. And it’s not just older people seeking companionship – younger people are increasingly lonely too, especially in new cities where the options are limited. “Homeshare is a way of bringing the two groups together to solve each other’s needs by using their respective strengths, promoting stronger communities and providing mutual support. Shared Homes Swansea along with support from Homeshare UK aim to support 26 matches in the first 2 years.” The Homeshare match is facilitated, supported and closely monitored by SCVS who have a long history of working with individuals and the community. As a member of Homeshare UK, they will draw on established national good practice guidance from Homeshare UK to ensure safety and quality. If you’re interested in Homeshare and live in Swansea, visit www.scvs.org.uk/shs to find out more.