Holdsworth HomeShare to impact the social isolation of seniors and provide an affordable housing solution.

For Immediate Release 17 October 2018

Holdsworth Community is launching a pilot Holdsworth HomeShare service in Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs.

Holdsworth HomeShare matches older people who are living alone in a comfortable home with a younger person who is happy to provide companionship in return for affordable accommodation.

HomeShare is a mutually beneficial arrangement. The older Owner of the home receives companionship, increased safety and security, improved wellbeing and the ability to remain in their own home. The younger Sharer has access to safe, secure and affordable housing close to study or work, companionship and connection to the local community.

Holdsworth Community, as the HomeShare provider, facilitates the matching process, conducts police and safety checks, assists the match to build an agreement and then is available to both the Owner and the Sharer to provide ongoing safeguards and checks throughout their time together.

Homeshare is an international model which has been proven to have positive social impacts in the UK, US, Europe and some other states in Australia. Holdsworth pitched its own HomeShare concept at the NCOSS and icare 2017 Investing for Good Conference. We were successful in securing funds for a discovery phase to research, and develop our social enterprise model. We have spent the last 12 months undertaking further scoping of other international and Australian models, conducting independent market research and working with a prototype match to ensure we have a viable business model that will work in NSW. The project has thus far been supported financially by NCOSS, icare, NSW Liveable Communities Program, City of Sydney Council, Waverley Council, E B Myer Charity Fund, Kickstarter Macquarie Bank Foundation and Enid Irwin Charitable Trust. Woollahra Council also has a paper before Council to support the program as part of their continued support of Holdsworth Community.

We are now moving into the pilot phase of the program where we will work in the community to set up matches to monitor and measure the community impacts in NSW. Our model is a fee-based model that will become self-sustaining without the need for further philanthropic or government support as it scales. For more information about Holdsworth HomeShare, please visit www.holdsworth.org.au

Holdsworth HomeShare offers a solution to two critical social issues in NSW:

  • A lack of affordable accommodation options close to places of work and study. According the ABS Census 2016, 37,715 people experience homelessness in NSW (an increase of 37% from 2011). The vast majority (93%) of homeless people in NSW are not living on the street, they are living in over crowded accommodation, couch surfing, temporary housing or housing for homeless people. The larger increases in homelessness in NSW are due to a lack of affordable housing. Less than 1% of private rentals are affordable in the greater Sydney area for people on low incomes. There are 60,000 people on the social housing waiting list and the waiting list can be between 2 and 10 years. In addition to this 76% of low-income earners in NSW are experiencing rental stress. HomeShare offers an alternate housing solution for those needing affordable accommodation by utilizing existing housing stock in a mutually beneficial arrangement.
  • Social isolation in older people leading to an increase in demand for services at home and premature entry into residential aged care.

Recent media and the announcement of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has highlighted many of the issues in some residential Aged Care facilities. In Australia, over the 20 years between 1997 and 2017, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over increased 12.1% to 15.4%. This is projected to more than double by 2057 (AIHW, 2018). 65% of older people live in major urban areas (ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016).  Lone person households are projected to have the fastest increase, going from 2.1 million in 2011 to around 3.4 million (27% of all households) in 2031 (AIFS, 2011).

The vast majority of older people do not want to enter residential Aged Care at all and would prefer to stay in their own home. There is currently a wait list of over 100,000 people for a Home Care Package to provide government funded supports for older people to remain at home. A study by the University of Adelaide has shown that the health impacts of social isolation on older people are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Socially isolated seniors are 60% more likely to use emergency services and are twice as likely to be prematurely admitted to residential aged care and die an earlier death. Holdsworth HomeShare provides older people an option to remain safely living at home with companionship, which decreases the impacts of social isolation.

Holdsworth Community will be launching Holdsworth HomeShare on Wednesday 17 October at their AGM.

When: 4:30pm Wednesday, 17 October

Where: Gaden Community Centre & Café, 334 Edgecliff Road, Woollahra NSW 2025

For media enquiries, please contact Jodie Wainwright on 02 9302 3600 or jodie.wainwright@holdsworth.org.au

For further information on Holdsworth HomeShare, please contact Carolyn Lancaster on 02 9302 3600 or carolyn.lancaster@holdsworth.org.au

About Holdsworth Community:

Holdsworth Community supports children and adults living with intellectual disabilities; families with young children; older people who may be frail, ill, lacking mobility, experiencing social isolation or living with dementia; care givers; people looking for meaningful volunteering opportunities. Our offices are in Holdsworth Street, Woollahra, however we support people across Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Holdsworth has been the heart of the local community for more than 75 years with the strong support of Woollahra Municipal Council. We engage with a range of groups in the wider community across the Eastern Sydney and have strong relationships with local stakeholders including government and businesses.

Our purpose is to build a community where all people have the support and services they need in order to build their personal capacity; have a voice and make choices; and make the meaningful social connections they need to live an active and happy life in the community.

Are you looking for new options to stay living at home?

Get in touch with us now, and find out how HomeShare could be a win-win for you!