More and more seniors are coming together to share their homes and save money. Learn more about ALA's program or call (213) 261-3862 to schedule a home visit.
If you are living outside of Los Angeles you may use the National Shared Housing Resource Center's (NSHRC) directory to find a program. ALA is a member of the NSHRC.
The Strategic Guide offers strategies and opportunities for strengthening and scaling existing shared housing programs, as well as resources for launching new programs. The Guide was developed out of a collaborative 6-month process and incorporates input from more than 20 stakeholders. Content discusses best practices and highlights innovative applications of shared housing for serving vulnerable populations.
What is Shared Housing and Why is it Important?
Seventy-two million “Baby Boomers” are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day and one-third of them are struggling with where to live on fixed incomes like social security. Shared Housing can help meet this demand in a way that is both cost-effective and socially beneficial.
Shared Housing consists of two or more people sharing a home. This could be a homeowner renting a vacant bedroom, or two or more people renting bedrooms in a group setting. The economics of shared housing are attractive as an increasing percentage of seniors are balancing mortgages and high rental costs with other living expenses.
Increases in the average life span will persist long after the “Baby Boom” generational bubble and communities are falling further behind in providing appropriate options for seniors. Creating an adequate supply of housing that adapts to support people throughout their life span is truly a permanent necessity.
Why is ALA Taking a Leadership Role in Shared Housing?
Over the past 34 years, ALA has helped more than 30,000 aging Angelinos through our housing counseling service and shared housing program. Our mission is to help seniors improve their quality of life by supporting them in their homes and providing opportunities for social interaction. Our vision is to innovate effective models for stabilizing seniors on a national scale, and to provide leadership and collaborative opportunities to other agencies in order to improve communities’ preparedness for assisting vulnerable residents.
Thanks to the Enterprise Community Partners and the Archstone Foundation, ALA is developing a Shared Housing Program & Policy Toolkit designed to scale Shared Housing at a national level. ALA is consulting with a national network of shared housing practitioners to devise strategies for transforming this model from a niche program to a mainstream resource.
“Our objective is to integrate ALA’s 34 years of shared housing expertise into a collaborative effort that improves and expands this resource for low-income seniors and their families,” said ALA’s President and CEO David Grunwald.
Who Should Care About Shared Housing?
Seniors with “extra house.”
Shared Housing can provide a source of income and access to non-medical support. This is an especially attractive option for seniors who wish to stay in their homes and have extra “house” to share and who may need companionship, caregiving support or help with activities like cooking, shopping and driving.
According to Dr. Jon Pynoos, UPS Foundation Professor of Gerontology at USC’s Andrus Gerontology Center, "more and more families are feeling the effects of caring for a parent due to the advancement of Baby Boomers into the senior demographic. Increases in the life span will continue to add pressure to the strained supply of supportive housing. Shared housing is a life-enriching approach to this challenge because it provides companionship, mutual support, and linkages to services.”
Individuals in need of affordable housing
Tight rental markets and oversubscribed assistance programs create scarce housing choices for low-income residents of all ages. Shared Housing can offer housing for half the cost of a private apartment. Individuals who are willing to provide services such as cooking, shopping and driving can expect to pay even less for shared housing.
All of us
Ultimately, we will all care for ourselves and loved ones who are growing older and may be experiencing a loss of income, mobility, healthfulness or social interaction. At a more global level, our economic health requires that we find cost-effective solutions to a growing population of seniors in need. You can support the Shared Housing initiative by referring friends and relatives, or by contributing to ALA’s Shared Housing Fund.
Shared Housing Symposium
This event was held on November 27, 2012 and convened decision makers and leaders from the housing, community development and planning industry alongside representatives from social service agencies and funders.
Read articles about our aging community that help frame the discussion about the need for Shared Housing.
The High Cost of Growing Old Alone (The Fiscal Times)
Report: 16% of Americans Provide Regular Care to the Elderly (U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Study: Social Connectedness is Good for the Heart (Senior Housing News)
Seniors Facing Foreclosure Increases (Bradenton (FL) Herald)
Ten-Year Forecast for Nursing Home Sector: $65 Billion in Medicare Cuts (Senior Housing News)