PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Aging announced on Dec. 9, 2022, that its Shared Housing Program is expanding into five additional counties.

The Shared Housing and Resource Exchange Program (SHARE) is an affordable housing option that connects individuals seeking housing, with home hosts who have an extra room available. According to the Department of Aging, the payment of the house seekers can be in the form of rent, help around the house, or a combination of both. SHARE participants must be at least 18 years or older and one of the participants must be over 60.

According to the Department of Aging, the SHARE program follows a thorough and structured, one-on-one application process to ensure the pairing is safe, compatible, and to establish ground rules between the ‘host and the sharer’. A SHARE Housing Counselor, will then conduct an introduction between the potential home host and home sharer, conduct proper background checks, and then arrange a home sharing trial. If the trial is successful, the SHARE Housing Counselor will help to create a written agreement for the pair, and then will conduct scheduled contacts with the home and home sharer, as well as provide needed support.

The SHARE Program was launched in 2017 and implemented in Pike, Wayne, and Monroe counties, and is currently available in Adams, Carbon, Crawford, Union, and Snyder counties. According to the Department of Aging, the newest counties to offer the SHARE program are:

  • Bucks
  • Lackawanna
  • Montgomery
  • Northumberland
  • Philadelphia

“The SHARE program has shown it is a win-win for both the older adult and their matched participant,” Secretary of Aging Robert Torres said. “The program allows the senior to remain in their home for as long as possible while providing housing to someone with common interests and a need for an affordable place to live. SHARE can also help combat social isolation and ageism while helping to close gaps between generations.”

Since 2017, SHARE has created more than 90 matches in the eight total counties that are still participating in the program. According to the Department of Aging, in the last five years there were four matches that lasted more than 36 months, with one of the participants still active and residing in Monroe County.

To learn more about the program you can visit the Department of Aging’s website or you can call 888-801-SHARE-HOME.