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HomeShare matches older people living alone in their own home with a younger person who is happy to provide companionship for affordable accommodation in the South East, Inner West, City or Northern Suburbs*.

* Due to varying definitions of certain districts and local government areas, please get in touch with us first to find out if HomeShare is available in your suburb

The presence of a younger housemate can provide an older person peace of mind, companionship and the ability to live in their own home for longer. For a younger person, this mutually beneficial agreement can enable them to live in a safe, fully furnished home near their work, school or public transport at a fraction of the cost of renting while giving back to the community.

We are committed to providing HomeShare in our community. The Department of Communities and Justice have recently granted us $200,000 to support our HomeShare program. This means people aged 18-24 may be eligible to have their fees waived for their first year in HomeShare.

HomeShare is an idea that is right for our times and our community.

For older people living alone and experiencing social isolation

There is an increasing number of older people living alone. Although many are happy to have time and space for themselves, others feel desperately lonely. There are also risks with living alone, like an accident or illness that goes unnoticed, and a higher chance of entering aged care prematurely.

Socially isolated older people are 60% more likely to use emergency services, and twice as likely to be prematurely admitted to residential aged care and die an earlier death. 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.


For younger people struggling with affordable housing

There are increasing rates of homelessness, with many people struggling with the lack of housing affordability. Less than 1% of private rentals are affordable for people on low incomes. For many students, younger people trying to establish themselves, and people in situations where they are trying to find their feet again, it can be difficult to find an affordable place to live in the areas they work or study.


At Holdsworth, we think HomeShare is a concept that is right for our community right now. It addresses the demand for affordable housing close to services by using existing under-occupied property, where the Home Owner is an older lone person. We’re committed to supporting HomeShare in our community, and we’d love to welcome you into the service.

How we match you with the right people

A vital part of our role is to find good Sharers and match them with the right Owners. We are there with you throughout the process of finding the right person for you.

  • All applicants are carefully screened and undergo a Police Background Check.
  • All applicants undergo an in-depth interview so we can understand their personalities and values.
  • We then match you with someone based on your compatibility (e.g. values, personality, lifestyle) and who we think you’ll get along well with.
  • We help you to get to know your potential housemate by setting up meetings, as many times as you both need.
  • We provide continuing oversight and take responsibility for the success of the arrangement.

We want this to be more than a convenience. It’s about finding someone for you whose company you will enjoy, and value, respect and appreciate you, the home and the support you are providing them.

It’s a bit like a matchmaking service, and you’ll never have to share with someone you’re not happy with.

Current Listings

Current listing will be shared here. Keep an eye out for upcoming listings.

Don’t see a location you prefer? Our HomeShare Coordinator can work with you to find a suitable home and person you can share with.

Rebecca, 49, is looking for a student or person under 35 to share her beautiful home in North Bondi.

Rebecca is recovering from a serious illness so suffers from heavy fatigue and currently not working. She has very limited energy some days. She is looking for a like minded, friendly person to share her lovely open-plan, modern home. Apart from keeping their own space clean, the person would be required to help Rebecca with some light household chores and cook some dinners to she can spend some quality time with her son when he is there.

Some of these household tasks include:

  • Mop/vacuum living room floors fortnightly
  • Sweeping up leaves in courtyard
  • Clearing kitchen and packing dishwasher after meals
  • Help with making beds. She has a cleaner once fortnightly.

The person would also be asked to cook and share some dinners (3 or 4 weekly) with Rebecca, in exchange for accommodation and the cost of utilities.

Rebecca was previously practising as a lawyer, and her interests are drawing, music , practising mindfulness and meditation.

For more information, contact our HomeShare Coordinator 02 9302 3600 or homeshare@holdsworth.org.au or visit our Flatmates listing here.

Upcoming webinars

We host free live webinars every month for Sharers and Owners. hosted by our HomeShare Coordinator.

During these sessions, you’ll get a chance to ask our HomeShare Coordinator any questions you might have and learn the following:

  • The benefits
  • The application process
  • How Holdsworth will support you
  • Success stories

HomeShare for Owners

When: Thursday, 18 August at 3.00pm

Where: Online via ZOOM

Registration: Sign up today.

HomeShare for Sharers

When: Thursday, 18 August at 4.00pm

Where: Online via ZOOM

Registration: Sign up today.

How do I know if HomeShare is the right choice for me?

Some older Home Owners may embrace HomeShare. They love the idea of having a younger Sharer around to share the days and the chores. Others are, understandably, more cautious.

Either way, there’s no rush. You can take it step-by-step. Take a look at the checklist below. If you answer ‘yes’ to many of them, you could be a good fit for HomeShare.

Am I suitable to be a HomeShare Home Owner?

  • I am retired and living alone in my own home.
  • I want to remain living independently in my own home for as long as possible.
  • I have a spare bedroom and enough space to comfortably share with another person.
  • I worry about what might happen if I fell or became ill with no one around to keep an eye on me.
  • I want help with light chores, like cooking and shopping.
  • I want to reassure my family that I’m safe living at home.
  • I miss having someone around to share my day with.
  • I enjoy chatting, laughing, and discussing the news and the day’s events.
  • I have skills or hobbies that I’d like to maintain, like bridge, chess, painting, writing, knitting and playing the piano.
  • I feel I have wisdom, skills and knowledge I’d like to share.
  • I would like to give something back to the next generation by providing affordable accommodation for a deserving housemate.
  • I would like to learn to use modern technology to communicate with distant families, connect with online communities and discover more about the world.
  • I want to surprise my old friends and have something new to talk about.

Did these statements resonate with you? If they did, please don’t hesitate to contact our HomeShare Coordinator at (02) 9302 3600 or homeshare@holdsworth.org.au to discuss your options and get started with HomeShare!

Sharers are special people, who are warm, kind and friendly. They are willing to fit in with an older person’s life and routines. They also know that older people have invaluable life experience and wisdom to share.

HomeShare is first and foremost about companionship, sharing an hour or two a day with someone and simply enjoying one another’s company.

Sharers are not cleaners or nurses. They are not expected to do all the work, or to provide nursing care or personal services.

Could you become a Sharer? To find out, read the checklist below to see if HomeShare will work for you.

Am I suitable to be a Sharer through HomeShare?

  • I am a caring younger person who is looking for safe and affordable housing in the Eastern, Inner City or Northern Suburbs.
  • I am a student, or fully employed in a job like teaching, healthcare, emergency services or public services.
  • I am an artist, writer, musician, dancer or another type of performing artist.
  • I am community-minded and open to connecting with an older person and keeping an eye on their well-being.
  • I think it might be interesting to spend time with an older person and learn about their life and times and get their perspectives on things.
  • I like the idea of providing companionship during the week, simply cooking together, chatting over tea and biscuits, going for a walk or watching TV or reading in the same room.
  • I am willing to share household chores and take responsibility for some of the ones an older person might find difficult, like carrying the shopping, taking out the rubbish or vacuuming.
  • I am willing to attend interviews with Holdsworth and have a police background check.

If you found yourself relating to a few of these statements, HomeShare could be perfect for you! Please don’t hesitate to contact our HomeShare Coordinator at (02) 9302 3600 or homeshare@holdsworth.org.au to discuss your options and get started with HomeShare!

Frequently Asked Questions

One of our objectives with HomeShare is to help older people feel more secure and safe in their homes.

To ensure your safety, we:

  • Carry out screening, checks and in-depth interviews of potential Owners and Sharers
  • Help both parties to construct a mutually beneficial written agreement that sets out the responsibilities of the Owner and the Sharer, what chores they need to do, and the support they need to provide each other
  • Provide ongoing support to ensure you both remain safe and satisfied, once the agreement has been set up and the Sharer has moved in

HomeShare is about shared interests and values, not a financial transaction between the Sharer and the Owner. There is no direct exchange of money between an Owner and a Sharer.

Instead, HomeShare is supported as follows:

  • The Owner pays a matching fee to Holdsworth to cover the time we invest in setting up a HomeShare arrangement and a monthly membership fee to be part of the service and receive supports from the HomeShare Coordinator.
  • The Sharer pays an application and matching fee to cover the time we invest in setting up a HomeShare arrangement and a weekly membership fee to be part of the service and receive supports from the HomeShare Coordinator.

The Sharer is like a housemate. The main expectation is for the Sharer to provide companionship, along with a certain amount of help with light chores and household duties (e.g. shopping, cooking and cleaning).

As part of the matchmaking process, both of you will discuss this. We will help you reach an agreement that is fair to both of you and gives you the extra support you might be missing. We will write this up as an agreement so that you’re both clear on what is and what isn’t involved.

The Sharer is not expected to provide any personal or nursing care. Holdsworth Community can help the Owner to get access to government-funded services through My Aged Care if required.

No, the Sharer is not expected to provide personal or nursing care service.

HomeShare is for people who are still generally active, well and able to look after themselves. The Sharer will provide companionship and take care of some light household chores, just like a housemate.

If the older person needs personal care or nursing care, Holdsworth Community can help them access government-funded services through My Aged Care.

We understand that your children and other relatives may be concerned about the idea of you sharing your home. We have considered this carefully, particularly the question of security and any legal matters.

To reassure you, all sharers are pre-screened and have to undergo a police check. The written contract can also address any specific concerns. It’s also worth telling your children that having someone living in your house will also help protect you in the event of an accident or sudden illness.

Our HomeShare Coordinator is responsible for overseeing that both the Owner and Sharer meet the expectations of their agreement. The Coordinator is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the proper screening and safety of the match
  • Assist the Owner and Sharer to put together a customised legal agreement so both parties understand each other’s expectations
  • Facilitate the stability of the arrangement by matching people with shared values and providing ongoing support for both the Owner and Sharer

Fees are paid to Holdsworth for this service.

We will do our best to make sure everything is set up for success. In the unlikely event that you do feel things aren’t working out, Holdsworth is here to make sure the separation is as smooth and trouble-free as possible for both of you.

Because it is important for both of you to have some certainty, we always suggest an initial 12-month arrangement. 

After that, it’s really up to the two of you to decide what you want from there. We certainly hope that HomeShare relationships might last many years.

If either of you decides to move on, we will be here to help you find someone new.

HomeShare is run and facilitated by Holdsworth Community.

Holdsworth is a long-established and registered charity with deep connections throughout the community. We believe in this program. We are investing in the people and processes to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible for everyone concerned.

You can learn more about our organisation here.

What does HomeShare look like?

Check out the latest news and media featuring Holdsworth HomeShare. You will get some insight into some of our success stories and the genuine connections people have created through HomeShare.

Cristina and Jean’s HomeShare Story

Cristina and Jean have been homesharing since April 2021. While Cristina’s moved far away from home, she feels lucky to have found much-needed support at minimal cost through HomeShare. For Jean, he can retain his independence by continuing to live at home with Cristina’s support and friendship.

Better way to make use of empty nests?!

Sydney NGO Holdsworth Community has won NSW Government funding to expand their innovative HomeShare program across Sydney.

The program aims to ‘pair up’ an empty nester with a young person in need of accommodation.

Our CEO Ruth Kestermann explains to Josh Szeps how it works.

Perfect Match – Compass

Increasing numbers of older people are living alone, while students and low-income earners are finding it hard to find places to live as rents soar. Compass follows people taking the first steps to match and hopefully hit it off.

Perfect Match features our Manager for Services for Older People, Wendy Francis, and our wonderful match between Loris and Gunhild.

You can watch the video by clicking the image above or using the links below iView and the ABC website.

RN Breakfast with Fran Kelly

It’s been a week of shocking revelations about how Australia cares for its oldest and most vulnerable people. A Four Corners report was heard from former aged care workers who revealed distressing details about the routine mistreatment and neglect of aged care residents and the understaffing of facilities. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of a royal commission into the industry has focussed attention on how the system is broken and what should be done to fix it. So for those nearing or looking ahead to their older years, what options are there to grow old in comfort?

Guests included our Manager for Services for Older People, Wendy Francis and prototype HomeShare match, Yve and Joan

Broadcast: Fri 21 Sep 2018, 8:05am

Listen to the broadcast by clicking the image above or at this link.

Future Tense with Antony Funnell

Our emotions are being manipulated, hacked and shared like never before. They’re on show in entirely new ways and now often play out in digital domains. So what does this mean for their future, our relationships and the technology that’s reading them? Edwina Stott investigates.

Broadcast: Radio National,

Guests included our CEO, Ruth Kestermann discussing Holdsworth HomeShare.

Listen to the broadcast by clicking the image above or at this link.

Community service provider to deliver home share program

Community service provider Holdsworth Community will pilot a home share program matching seniors with young people. The concept is based on the idea that a younger housemate can provide security and support for an older person and enable them to live at home for longer while giving the younger person an affordable housing option.

Home sharing program helping address homelessness, social isolation

Sofie Wainwright spoke with one of our HomeShare matches, Pattie and Jutta, to learn more about the impacts of Homeshare in their lives.

Holdsworth’s mission is to support people in our community and encourage social connection so they can have independent and fulfilling lives.

Holdsworth is a registered charity that has been part of the fabric of life in the Eastern Suburbs since the 1960s. Starting off with a before and after-school care service for local children, in the mid-1970s, we began providing support for frail and housebound seniors. Today, we provide a broad range of services for people living with disability, transport services for people who are unable to drive, meals and shopping services for the housebound, childcare and more. What we provide to the community has evolved, but our values of trust, kindness. openness and independence remain a core part of our organisation.