Shared Housing: An Option for Homeless Families? A Feasibility Study (2019)

Shared Housing report cover

This research study seeks to provide recommendations for designing and implementing a shared housing program that would match senior homeowners with families experiencing homelessness. HealthSpark funded this project through a 2019 Innovation Lab grant to Interfaith Housing Alliance and the Senior Adult Activities Center of Montgomery County (Montco SAAC).

The feasibility study, completed by Karen Hosler Kispert, Ph. D., includes a summary of her literature review, website reviews, practitioner interviews, data set analysis, and survey questionnaires from senior homeowners and families experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County. The findings include:

  • Shared housing would meet the needs of senior homeowners.

  • Challenges to successful shared housing are real, but can be overcome.

  • The keys to overcoming challenges to successful shared housing are planning, clear and appropriate matching procedures, careful document preparation, and ongoing case management with negotiation or mediation as needed.

  • The organizations operating the shared housing program must commit adequate personnel and other resources for the program to sustain over time.

  • Shared housing can become a means for homelessness prevention or shelter diversion.

The feasibility study includes recommendations for next steps, which include analysis of housing stock and trends and implementation of a pilot program to build capacity.

Click the link below to download the full report.