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"Until recently, I haven’t wanted to spend time alone in the house at night... but now it’s much better."

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Inter Generations Worcester?

It is a homeshare scheme. We work to match up people over 55yrs who have accommodation, but need support and companionship, with University of Worcester students who need affordable accommodation.

What are the requirements to join the scheme?

The householder must be aged over 55, have a spare bedroom and live within easy travelling distance of Worcester University.

The homesharer must be in their second or third year of study, or be a postgraduate student.

I don’t own my own home so can I be a householder?

We ask anyone who doesn’t own their home outright to seek permission from either their mortgage provider or landlord before applying.

Will it affect my benefits?

Benefits rules change often and vary according to individual circumstances, so if you have any concerns about the effect of homesharing on any benefits you receive, we recommend that you seek independent advice. If housing benefit is received, we recommend you seek specialist advice to establish whether the spare bedroom is subject to the under-occupancy penalty (‘bedroom tax’).

I’m concerned about my security and safety?

Homeshare is a safe living arrangement with a very low incidence of abuse. A Help the Aged report concluded this is due to some key features of Homeshare including the involvement of the Homeshare scheme Co-ordinator, the checking and vetting of homesharers, the implementation of homeshare procedures and the arrangement being built on the concept of mutual benefit.

Both parties must provide two written references and the students are fully DBS checked.

There are also several interview stages by staff from IGW to enable us to get to know the participants and assess them carefully, allowing us to make prudent and suitable matches. We provide intensive support for the first 6 weeks of the match, and continue to provide support as agreed with the participants thereafter.

The householder’s family are encouraged to attend the meetings and be fully involved throughout the process.

What would happen to my utility bills, house insurance and how would it affect my council tax discount?

The student makes a contribution towards your household bills. We suggest this should be around 25% of the total amount.

If you currently get a 25% single person discount on your council tax, you will continue to get this. Full-time students are not included when counting the number of adult residents in a dwelling.

With house insurance, we recommend you advise your insurer but generally it shouldn’t affect your premium. We advise that the student takes out their own contents insurance for their belongings.

How long does the homeshare last?

This is agreed at the start between both people. If an end date is known then this will be included in the initial agreement, otherwise it will roll on a monthly basis. According to Homeshare UK the average match lasts for 9 months and the longest has been going for over 5 years!

What impact would it have on my food bill and am I expected to provide meals for the student?

This would be agreed between each householder and homesharer at the start of the arrangement. In some matches the participants buy, prepare and eat their own meals, in others they might share the cooking and meals, or perhaps the student might agree to prepare certain meals for the householder. It is a very flexible scheme and can be adapted depending on what suits individual participants best.

How does homesharing benefit the householder?

The homesharer is expected to provide 10 hours of help around the home a week where they will help with household tasks, such as cooking, cleaning or gardening. As they will be studying, then this will generally be in evenings and weekends.

It will also provide the householder with company around the home as well as the security of having someone else living there.

It also provides the householder with the satisfaction of being able to put something back into the community by being able to help provide these young people with a good start to their career and the rest of their lives.

What does the student get from this scheme?

It provides them with a comfortable and pleasant environment to live in with fewer financial worries. It will also save them from looking around for accommodation to live in.

It is an opportunity to share their skills and give something back to the community, as well as gaining some practical experience to add to their CV.

How do I know that the homesharer would be tidy and that they won’t bring loads of friends back?

The student is required to live to the householder’s house rules and this will be regularly monitored by the staff from IGW. During the application process for the scheme the student is encouraged to reflect on what it means to live in a shared home with respect for the other person and their belongings. The students who apply to IGW are not the type of students who enjoy partying all night but tend to be the kind of person who appreciates a homely environment and a quiet place to study.

The students are making a big investment in their education and are young professionals committed to training in their chosen career, which could be anything from law to teaching to nursing. 60% of University of Worcester students are mature (aged over 21) and 30% of them are studying health and social care courses such as occupational therapy, nursing, social work or midwifery.

What if something goes wrong?

IGW offers full support for both parties. Sometimes a little help from the IGW manager in talking about expectations or concerns, is all that it takes to get a match back on track. Most homeshares come to an end because of the homesharer needing to move to a different area for work or a householder requiring more support than a Homeshare can provide, rather than because of any difficulties with the match.

There is normally a notice period of a month for anyone wanting to end their Homeshare arrangement prematurely. However, in the case of gross misconduct, there is no notice period. We have close links with the University of Worcester and are able to find emergency accommodation for the homesharer through them if required, perhaps because of illness or change of circumstances etc.

How long does the application process take?

Our application process is thorough and it takes around 8 weeks from initial enquiry to the matching stage. It is also worth bearing in mind that because our homesharers are students, most matches begin in September to coincide with the start of the academic year.

Contact the team for further information about this or if you are interested in participating in the scheme.

01562 733136 | igw@vestia.org.uk

Contact: Inter Generations Team

01562 733136 | igw@vestia.org.uk