Key Worker Housing Scheme Helps Elderly Too

A pioneering scheme to help older people in West Sussex stay in their own homes while giving key workers and other professionals a place to live is being launched. The project, called Homeshare, will put older people in touch with responsible professionals, after thorough checks. They get free accommodation in exchange for helping around the house with tasks such as gardening, cooking and cleaning.

The aim is to provide companionship and security to the many older people who live alone, often far away from the friends and family members who they can rely on for daily support. At the same time it would also benefit people on lowerthan- average incomes, such as health workers and mature students, by giving them affordable accommodation – possibly enabling them to live in an area they might otherwise be unable to afford.

Pat Arculus, West Sussex County cabinet member for adults’ services, said: “This is an excellent scheme which I am sure will bring enormous benefits both to householders and homesharers. With an increasingly ageing population and the spiralling cost of accommodation for key workers, Homeshare has the potential to fulfil a very real need for both the younger and older generations.”

West Sussex is one of only two areas in the country which have been selected for the pilot scheme. It is being funded and run by the National Association of Adult Placement Services, in partnership with the county council’s social services department. Initially it will focus on householders who are over 50 and key workers in the western area of the county, including Chichester, Midhurst, Bognor Regis and Arundel.