Homesharing is a solution that's gaining attention across the country and COA is working to bring it to Nashville.
The older adult population (65+) is the fastest-growing demographic in our city, and 24% of older residents are housing cost-burdened and 31% live alone.
Since we know that Nashville cannot build its way out of the affordable housing shortfall, COA is taking the lead to create a wider menu of housing options through HOMESHARING – where older homeowners with extra space are matched with renters in need of more affordable housing. Homeowners can benefit from extra income, companionship, and help with chores and errands. Grad students, young professionals, and other adult renters can benefit from affordable housing and friendships that result from homesharing.
Here are some additional resources with information about homesharing:
Last year (2019), we partnered with Tennessee State University’s College of Public Service to research homesharing models and best practices across the country in order to learn how it could work here. TSU published a report of findings and conducted focus groups for local graduate students and older adults (May-September 2019). Here’s what participants said about HOMESHARING:
"I have a lot to share, and I know that I could learn from having another person in my home."
-an older adult homeowner
"It's easy to get lonely when you are in this stage of adulthood. This could help because you'd have someone to talk to and learn from."
-a grad student
After the focus groups, we convened a community-wide meeting (October 2019) with more than 20 organizations to discuss plans for a HOMESHARING pilot project in Nashville. We then identified a smaller group of enthusiastic community partners and formed an Advisory Team. We worked closely with the Advisory Team throughout the rest of 2019 and early 2020 to create the program guidelines and marketing materials and to research and select a technology platform to assist in screening applicants and making intergenerational HOMESHARING matches.
We were on track to launch the pilot this year (2020), but then….COVID-19 hit our nation unexpectedly. Schools and universities closed, and shelter-in-place and social distancing orders enacted (mid-March 2020). We pivoted our focus to the immediate public health care needs of older adults during COVID-19, and concluded that Nashville’s HOMESHARING pilot must wait until there is an effective vaccine that ensures residents’ health and safety.
We look forward to launching HOMESHARING as soon as it is safe to do so!
In the meantime, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. We’re gathering input and stories from local residents who are either CURRENTLY HOMESHARING, or interested in participating in HOMESHARING IN THE FUTURE.
Are you CURRENTLY HOMESHARING? If so, please tell us about your experiences, and let us know if you’d like to volunteer with COA to encourage other local Nashvillians (through community outreach events) to sign up!
Are you interested in participating in HOMESHARING IN THE FUTURE? If so, please send us your information & we’ll get in touch with you.