HomeShare OC began in 2020 as an intergenerational home-sharing program for students and senior homeowners. The first of its kind in Orange County, CA, this program matches homeowners with an available room to rent with a college student in need of an affordable place to live. A study in March 2019 from the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice found that 1 in 5 California community college students was living in their car. As recently as September 2022, more information has come to light about the lack of available housing units on UC campuses and lack of affordable housing overall has driven students to homelessness. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, “One person, who asked for anonymity, described living in a car for the entire year and reaching out to campus officials for help, only to be told to “sleep in Walmart parking lots.” The student housing crisis disproportionately impacts students from low-income families and students of color, perpetuating inequities in education and career growth.
This unique kind of affordable housing offered additional benefits – companionship, bonding, and assistance with household chores and with technology to help bridge the “Digital Divide” when older adults fall behind on the latest technology advancements. The HomeShare OC Program is a way to address the social-emotional needs and lack of affordable housing for both homeowners (55+) and eligible college students. Unfortunately, in our modern society older and younger generations are not often likely to intersect in a professional or personal environment outside of family connections, however, they share the overlapping challenges of housing insecurity and social isolation. Social isolation and loneliness can have negative impacts on the mental and physical health of people of all ages, particularly older adults. Home-sharing has the proven benefits of reducing housing and food insecurities, decreasing loneliness and depression, increasing the sense of belonging and purpose, and improving understanding and independence for all participants.
But we didn’t stop there. Seniors and students are not the only demographic groups who can benefit from home sharing. With the increase of rent in OC and staggering, unattainable gross income requirements for housing eligibility, HIS-OC is expanding HomeShare OC to pair families and individuals together in creative ways to meet the income demands and create opportunities for all housing insecure populations attain housing. Today, HomeShare OC can be any combination of students, seniors, young adults, adult individuals and families match to get housed and stay housed.
The UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools found that one in five community college students, one in 10 California State University students, and one in 20 University of California students experienced homelessness during the year. We need to do something to change this. We are actively recruiting homeowners to join the HomeShare OC program.
If you are a student who needs assistance with affordable housing, please fill out a Student Interest Form by clicking and completing the student interest form above. We will contact you and talk more about your needs.
CONNECTING ACROSS GENERATIONS
How HomeShare OC Works
Co-living continues to evolve as it sheds the old notion of such accommodations as glorified dorm rooms with bunk beds, couch surfing, and over-crowded residences. Far from it. These days, co-living accommodations involve design-forward cohabitations with odd roommate situations; old and young is the new normal, according to new research. Home-sharing will be the new normal in the future.
The HomeShare OC Program is a way to address the social-emotional needs and lack of affordable housing for both homeowners (55+) and eligible college students. We understand that these two generations are not likely to intersect in a professional or personal environment, but both share these overlapping challenges. Home-sharing has the proven benefits of reducing housing and food insecurities, decreasing isolation and depression, and increasing the sense of belonging and purpose, and improving understanding and independence for all participants.
HELPING STUDENTS, HELPING SENIORS
- We create affordable, low-cost, safe housing opportunities for college students and older homeowners.
- Assist with student relocation and moving costs.
- Enhance participants financial and/or social well-being.
- Holistic approach services for participants.
- Eligibility requirements for all participants.
- Provide mentoring services at no cost to all participants.
- Full-time staff at your convenience to help with any issues that may arise.
- Provide ongoing support services while in the program.
- Provide PPE for all participants when requested.
- Monthly meetings supporting academic and personal enrichment activities.
HELPS IN MANY WAYS
- Home sharing is a useful alternative for older people to remain in their homes where they prefer.
- Most people sharing their home feel safer having someone there instead of living alone.
- Home sharing can be some of the most affordable housing anywhere!
- Homesharing helps to decline loneliness and social isolation.
- Today, social isolation and loneliness are identified as significant risks to mental and physical health.
- Home sharing makes efficient use of lower housing stock.
- Home sharing is a green alternative.
- Home sharing is a housing solution to meet the needs of persons with varied economic and demographic backgrounds.
- Home sharing breaks down barriers between generations and cultures.
- Eligible college students need to be enrolled in college, have a 2.0, and be in-good standing with educational institutions.
- A minimal cost per month in exchange for reasonable services to the homeowner.
- Services would be a minimum of 5 hours of service exchange from the student per week.
- The program cannot serve individuals with current, untreated substance abuse problems.
- Participants must have a level of emotional stability, which allows mutual interest and is involved in their living relationship.
- Participants should advocate for themselves and assume full responsibility for every step of the HomeShare O.C. program application process.
- Homeowners, as well as student responsibilities, are outlined in their Living Together Agreement.
- The agreements’ length is six months and can be extended to a longer-term if agreed upon by participants.
- Students are not caregivers, and the homeowners are not guardians.