HOMING WOMEN: A new choice for shared housing for Baby Boomer women is set to be trialled in NSW.
HOMING WOMEN: A new choice for shared housing for Baby Boomer women is set to be trialled in NSW. kali9

Women's home sharing innovation to be trialled in NSW

A NEW approach to home sharing for older women has been trialled in Wollongong over the last four months.

Researchers from the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) developed a housing concept aimed at successfully matching older women in an affordable and safe living environment that also supports longevity of tenure.

Since TACSI is not a service provider, they turned to the IRT Group to assist with the trial that was developed as a result of working with a group of South Australian Baby Boomers aged 55 and over.

"The women helped us to come up with a service concept about how to hear about a service like Homeshare and how do you register, facilitate matching and provide support once people move in," TACSI social innovator Carla Clarence said.

The service is about helping these women to find an ideal housemate. "It adds to the suite of choices that a woman has as they choose to live and age well," Ms Clarence said.

"There are two ends of the spectrum. There is retirement living which not everyone wants or can afford to live in.

"The other end is homelessness and crises services for people with complex needs.

"In between that, there isn't a lot of other options or choices to support people to live alternatively."

Through the pilot program Ms Clarence found both female home owners and renters want to have another choice for how they live into their older years.

The trial in Wollongong included about 14 women who live-tested TACSI's initial home sharing model. They looked at both home-owner with a renter and shared renting, and looked closely at what it was the women wanted.

"It's about two women, in their individual circumstances, coming together because there is a potential for a really good match," Ms Clarence. As a result of this matching process, she expects finances will be shared and social connections made.

Ms Clarence hopes the IRT Wollongong research will lead to the role out of a national model delivered through service providers.

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