Frequently asked questions

I am looking for support

How are homesharers selected?


Everyone who applies to become a homesharer must first be interviewed at Novus as well as go through a reference and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – previously known as CRB. We only introduce a person to the householder if they are a good match. We make sure that both parties have similar preferences and things in common when it comes to sharing a home together.




Can the householder choose their homesharer?


Yes and relatives can also be involved in the selection process. Householders can interview potential homesharers before they move in to make sure that they get on and are suitable to provide the support the householders needs.




What does the householder have to provide for their Homesharer?


They need to provide their homesharer with a bedroom and access to the rest of the facilities of the house. The idea is that they share the space which means time together watching television, in the kitchen, garden etc.




How might my council tax be affected by having a Sharer?


If the Sharer is a full-time student then they are exempt from council tax and no additional council tax is payable as a result of them moving in. If you are claiming a single persons discount that would not be affected.

If the Sharer is working then there is a possibility that, if you are claiming a single persons 25% discount, this may be withdrawn. However, councils do have different rules as to whether a Sharer can be exempted from council tax. Our advice is that you call your council and discuss your personal situation directly with them. As a Sharer is deemed to be a volunteer, living in the home to give practical help and companionship, some councils are beginning to see the benefit of this for their elderly residents and may allow the elderly person to keep their discount. If that is not the case, Sharers can be asked to pay an agreed contribution to any increase in council tax as a result of them moving in.

*** It is also worth noting that some residents medical conditions – such as dementia, Parkinson’s, severe learning difficulties or a stroke – may also be entitled to a discount.




What happens if I am entitled to a free TV license because I am over 75, and I have a younger Homesharer come to live with me?


If someone is aged 75 or over , they are entitled to a free over 75 TV License for their principal resident, even if they live with younger relatives or a younger Homesharer.




What if I want the sharer to leave my house?


Firstly, we identify the reason behind the case and attempt to address the issues with both the Householder and Homesharer. If the situation cannot be resolved between both parties, we would proceed by issuing a one month’s notice for the Homesharer. During this time, we would help to rematch both the Householder and Homesharer, if possible.




I have lasting power of attorney over the homeowner, can I enter them into the scheme on their behalf?


Yes.




Can homesharers provide personal care?


No, homesharers are not able to provide personal care. If you require a carer, we would suggest contacting the social services department of your local authority to request an assessment of your needs.




What are the benefits of a sharer?


- Reduced risks of falls; better health and well-being for older people - Reduced pressure on housing provision - Increased affordability of acommodation for those in higher education





I am looking for accommodation

Do I have to pay for bills?


A Householder can request for a Homesharer to help pay for bills (up to £30 per month) if requested.




Do I have to provide personal care?


Absolutely not. You are not obliged to provide any sort of personal care to Householders. In the event that you are matched with someone who has a disability or illness, we are able to provide you with more information on your request.




What are the benefits of homesharing for me?


The benefits of being a Homesharer are: - Reduces the costs of living in London by up to 80% - Quiet and comfortable environment - Rewarding experience - Acquire new life skills Visit the Homesharer page to see more.




Do I qualify to be a homesharer?


If you want to be a Homesharer, you just need to be caring and responsible in your outlook and willing to spend at least 10 hours a week helping another person with everyday domestic tasks. Our monthly fee is £199.34, there is no exchange of money between the homesharer and the householder, both parties contribute to the charity, to be able to run the service. You must be willing to commit to at least 6 months to take part in the scheme.




What kind of support will I have to provide?


The support you are expected to provide is agreed upon beforehand with the homeowner. This may include helping them with tasks such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, DIY, etc. Homeowners also tend to look for someone who can provide overnight security as well as companionship e.g. watching the TV together or perhaps making a trip to town or the theatre.




Who are homesharers typically?


Our portfolio is very diverse. We have homesharers coming from different backgrounds and walks of life, many of whom are looking to relocate to London in order to find an affordable accomodation for either their studies, work commitments, or just to save some extra cash every month.




Can couples take part in the scheme?


Yes - we welcome applications from couples as well! Please note that most Homeowners tend to seek independent individuals as opposed to couples as they do not have the facilities or capacity to accommodate for both. As a result, this may prolong the time it takes for you and your partner to be matched.




Will there be a fixed schedule for the work?


The work schedule is to be arranged and agreed upon by both the homesharer and homeowner at the start of the placement. If you are currently in part or full time education/employment, please include the working hours in your application and profile so that the homeowner is aware of your availability.




What do I have to pay?


DBS fee

Even if you have an up to date DBS we will still need to conduct one for our own records. There is a non refundable £10 charge which will be required before the DBS is approved, however once we have found you a successful match the £10 DBS fee will be deducted from the placement fee.

Placement fee

There is a £100 non refundable placement fee which is payable once we have successfully matched you with a suitable homeowner.

Service fee

Once you have been matched with a suitable homeowner, you are expected to pay a month service fee of £200.00 via Direct Debit.





General

How does the scheme work?


Homeshare is an affordable service that matches people that need an extra helping hand at home with people looking for accommodation and willing to help. The householder and the homesharer are introduced by Novus - Homeshare and if they like each other, they start Homesharing and their relationship progress is monitored to make sure that both parties enjoy the experience of living together.




Are there any rules set?


Yes indeed, the householder can set ground rules with their homesharer from the very beginning. As each match up is unique – some people will need a quiet home environment, whilst others will want a more social environment – it’s important that the householder shares how their day-to-day life works with their homesharer so that they can agree on a convenient schedule for both of them.




How much does it cost?


In comparison with current home care agency prices, the Homeshare scheme could help to reduce the cost of supportive services by at least 80%. Householders contribute £130.00 a month (as little as £4.33 per day) and Homesharers contribute £200.00 a month ( approximately £6.66 per day) to the charity. There is no exchange of money between the householder and the homesharer.




How is the money used?


As the Homeshare scheme doesn’t receive any direct funding Novus relies on the contribution of the people in the programme. This fee is allocated towards those working to monitor the matches, evaluate homesharers, visit service users as well as general administration and advertisement.




Is there a contract for both parties to sign?


There is an agreement which both parties sign, but this is not legally binding. We want both parties to have a flexible approach in taking on the programme. The programme is rolling on a rolling month scheme.




What happens if the scheme fails?


From time to time we sadly have to end the agreement, this is largely due to client passing away or if they require more personal care. We always keep the Homesharer informed and re-match them as soon as we can.




What if a householder and a homesharer doesn't get along?


Homeshare matches are made carefully and our team works hard to ensure prospective homesharers understand how the scheme works and whether it is suitable for them. As part of the detailed application process, both parties will get the chance to meet one another at a planned match meeting before deciding whether it’s a match. If it doesn’t work out for either party, the arrangement will come to an end and Novus will attempt to rematch both parties.




How do I cancel my application if I am no longer interested in Homesharing?


We're sorry to hear that you are no longer looking to Homeshare. If you would like to close your application, please send us an email to: admin.novus@novus-homeshare.org.uk or alternatively, call us on 03300882225. You will stop receiving emails and communications thereafter. We're always looking to help individuals get started on their Homeshare journey. If you're ready to start the process again later on, we'd be most happy to help you find a suitable homesharer or home.




How are matches monitored?


A Homeshare coordinator will contact both the homesharer and householder via phone every month to discuss their on-going match. There is a home visit every 3 months that the coordinator willl personally attend. If there are any causes of concern or any issues raised by the householder or homesharer, then the match/situation will be monitored and support is provided to everyone involved to reach a solution that satisfies both parties.





CONTACT US

T: 03300 882225

E: enquiries@novus-homeshare.org.uk

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©2020 by Novus - Harrow Carers: 

Registered Charity No.1062149

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