Los Angeles HomeShare program.
Share your home or apartment as part of the Los Angeles County HomeShare program. This is an affordable and mutually beneficial way to find safe, quality, and affordable homes or apartments to live in. It helps people reduce their monthly rent expense and other housing costs, such as utility bills and repairs, by sharing those expenses. Or the program participants can benefit from duties or services such as providing/sharing transportation, light housekeeping, companionship, and shopping.
HomeShare benefits individuals who need financial assistance to offset their rent and housing costs and/or who have extra space in their home. Most participants have said that it is a rewarding experience. Many people, including seniors, single parents, and others have benefited from it.
Guidelines of HomeShare
The program is usually open to any Los Angeles County individual who is over the age of 18. They will be matched up with another individual who is over the age of 55, and together they will share their home. It is only offered for seniors and people over the age of 55 who are not yet at the point of needing skilled nursing, and the program can help people who don’t need medical care or nursing assistance. No fee is charged to either party for using the service.
The application process is extensive. Before signing up a new client and making any placements, the agency will conduct full background of all individuals, perform compatibility checks, look into criminal records, and also obtain references. HomeShare will also conduct personal interviews with both parties, and undertake home inspections to ensure the living conditions are safe and high quality.
These types of home share housing assistance programs have been operating across the country since the 1970s, so they are not anything new to Los Angeles County. The programs are considered to be a good alternative for people who can’t afford to pay their rent on their own. The person seeking a home will need to contribute in some capacity to, either by performing services or contributing to rent and financial matters. For example, the typical rent paid by the person seeking a home will range from zero to about $550 per month.
The amount of rent you pay will be decided by you and the housing counselor, and it will factor in your total household income and other expenses. Once the HomeShare process begins, you’ll be matched with someone who falls into the correct financial situation and has the same expectations as you.
If they can’t afford to pay rent or bills, then the home seeker can provide other services or assistance in exchange for lower rent. This would include shopping, housework, and similar tasks.
If someone can’t pay any rent, then usually people will provide assistance and services such as housekeeping, shopping, cooking, transportation, laundry, or companionship. Transportation will tend to vary, as many people already own vehicles. Consider this when determining how much rent to charge someone sharing your home. The program will also encourage a trial period of a week or up to a month to ensure it works for both parties.
A housing counselor is also available to help address any living arrangement concerns that arise. Both parties are encouraged to try to find a solution to any disputes that come up, and to salvage the relationship. Typically, individuals who are renting a room in their home are open to living with a new individual, and they are looking for someone who involved in activities outside of the home and is very independent. So ideally a dispute will not be common. If after counseling/mediation, if the living situation/sharing of the home is still not working, then people are encouraged to move out, with up to 30 days notice provided.
HomeShare of Los Angeles is run from the following locations:
- Culver City Senior Center, 4095 Overland Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
- Bonnie Brae Village, 208 S. Bonnie Brae St., Los Angeles, California 90057
Or dial (213) 261-3862 to get more information.