- Can our daughter have her dog in a shared living home?
Pets are certainly an option and can be a wonderful addition to a household. You need to consider roommates, landlord rules, and who will provide for the care of her pet.
- Can the parents supplement the cost of shared living?
Yes, but you need to be careful you don’t inadvertently violate the rules of your family member’s government funding sources. Doing this can jeopardize your loved one’s benefits.1
- Do we rent or buy?
This depends on the budget and preferences of the families. Roommates can rent housing on the private market, the families can purchase a property and we have also created partnerships with real estate companies that will purchase, modify, and rent the housing back to our client families on a long-term lease.
- How can technology support our shared living home?
Technology can be a great tool to support roommates. Smart Homes can be developed to support the unique needs of the roommates; Partners4Housing can help you explore the right technology for your loved one’s situation.
- How do we apply for housing subsidies?
HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) provides a valuable housing subsidy that makes rent more affordable. Waitlists are long; pay attention to when wait lists in your area open, so you can apply. Partners4Housing monitors these lists nationally and will keep you apprised of when lists open. We also help families understand Section 8 eligibility requirements so when they have the opportunity to apply, their loved one will be eligible.
- How do we decide who pays for what in a shared living development?
Partners4Housing works with our families to develop equitable household budgets.
- How do we find and keep quality live-in caregivers?
One of the most important ways to attract and keep good caregivers is a robust compensation package. This should include more than just good pay; making sure the caregiver has enough time off to avoid burnout is also important. Partners4Housing can help you understand what a good compensation package looks like and how much you should expect to pay in your area.
- How long does it take to create a shared living home?
The process of planning for housing from beginning to end can take three to five years, so it’s important to start planning early. Once you have identified roommates, chosen families committed to moving forward as a group, and engaged Partners4Housing’s services, the process takes, on average, one year. Download the SLD Timeline for more details.
- How much does shared living cost?
This will vary greatly based on needs, desires, location, and lifestyle preferences. Partners4Housing works hard to help families secure the government benefits their loved ones are entitled to. Sharing the costs with other families makes shared living more affordable.
- What is shared living?
Shared living is when people live together to share the cost of housing and support services. The families control the housing and hire caregivers to drop-in or live-in based on their needs and desires. The essence of this housing model is that families commit to working together to identify and secure housing and services, and they collaborate to make the shared solution successful.
- What happens when we die or are no longer able to provide support to our son in his shared home?
It’s very important to have a plan for who will step into your shoes when you are no longer able to provide support and oversight. Is there a family member, friend, or professional guardian who will make decisions when you can’t? The beauty of having a shared living home established is that whoever you chose to provide this support will not be alone. Your partnering families will be there to help and the structures will already be in place.
- Who plans social activities in a shared living home?
This is a collaborative effort between the roommates, the families, and the caregivers.
- Who provides transportation for the roommates in a shared home?
Transportation is key to an active household. Identifying housing near public transportation is an important factor in selecting the housing. Caregivers are often able to provide some transportation as well.
- Our son has a Section 8 voucher. How do we request reasonable accommodation so he can use his voucher in a shared home?
HUD allows people with disabilities to request reasonable accommodation to gain access to their programs. Common requests include: an extra bedroom for a live-in caregiver; renting from a relative; transferring the voucher to another housing authority; and allowing people to live together – some with and without vouchers – in the same housing unit. Requests are approved on a case-by-case basis and must be written carefully. Partners4Housing can assist with these requests.
- How long does it (really) take to create a Shared Living solution?
It takes time to create a resilient shared living solution, anywhere from two to five years or more. Our best advice is to start early! To help you visualize all the parts that have to come together, we've created this Shared Living Development timeline. The Residential Assessment is the first step, when families complete their RA questionnaire, consult with P4H, and begin applying for waitlists and benefits. Next, families search for and connect with potential partner families, and spend time getting to know them and their Loved Ones. It often takes up to a year or more to find suitable partner families. Once families decide to move forward together, they begin working out the details of the Shared Living solution -- finding housing, hiring caregivers, developing budgets and care plans, etc. This typically takes a year or more, and some families may take longer.
It’s very important to have a plan for who will step into your shoes when you are no longer able to provide support and oversight. Is there a family member, friend, or professional guardian who will make decisions when you can’t? The beauty of having a shared living home established is that whomever you choose to provide this support will not be alone. Your partnering families will be there to help and the structures will already be in place.