The Housing Authority and City of Ventura California have partnered with other organizations to create the HomeShare program. The service is free to qualified residents, and it will provide individuals, including senior citizens, the ability to save money on their rent by matching people together. The program’s mandate is to serve families and residents across the City and county of Ventura.
The government supported program will help match individuals together, but the final decision will be made by the homeowner and the person looking for housing. It has been proven to be successful by allowing two individuals to share monthly housing costs, including rent or a mortgage. Or maybe one person is offered a reduced rate as they will help with household chores and provide companionship and/or friendship. Savings can be incurred from reduced or shared monthly rent costs or other agreed upon expenses. Many of the people who provide the homes are seniors and the individuals who move in tend to be younger. However this is not a requirement of HomeShare.
What will happen is some or all of the following. The process requires an application to be complete. After that is done, careful and thorough background checking will occur. In addition to that, participants will need to be interviewed, and an inspection of the provider's property will occur. Throughout this process follow up will be done at all stages, questions will be answered, and additional checks will be completed as needed.
Note that the program is not an emergency housing or rental assistance program. This is the case because of the fact that it sometimes takes quite a bit of time to process the applications, find a match, and there is an investigation that needs to occur throughout the application process. All of this takes time, and the agencies involved would rather go slow and be as certain as possible during the matching process.
Although the organizers of the program will put two people together, the match is ultimately made by the home seeker and home provider themselves. No agency will force people to live together or share their home. The end result is hopefully that two compatible people will be put together.
The home provider is usually a bit older and/or a senior citizen. Many of the people looking for housing tend to be younger. This is occurring because the younger person may pay a lower rent amount, but they will also help the senior with some chores. This is the model that has been proven to be successful.
The HomeShare staff will periodically do a follow-up investigation to determine how the match is working and will be sure to help address or resolve any issues. If people are not compatible or if problems arise, then the arrangement can end.
The program is run closely with and in cooperation with various non-profits such as the Ventura Area Agency on Aging, and is a government-supported program. No fees or expenses are charged to any party, and the goal is to help match people together so they can share on rent, utilities, maintenance and other costs.
What has been discovered since launching is that the program is very successful on a so called intergenerational basis. This is the case as a senior can get help with paying their rent and maybe the younger person performs some maintenance or minor chores for the senior citizen that can both offset their rent and help the senior.
Homeshare of Ventura is operated from an office at 646 County Square Drive, Suite 100, Ventura, California. Call (805) 477-7324 for information or to sign up.
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