An Irish company has been set up that connects lonely older people with students and professionals looking for somewhere to live.
The Homeshare aims to match people with varying needs in a way that can solve both their issues.
The rental market in Ireland is notoriously expensive and difficult for young professionals to find a suitable place to live.
Under the terms of the Homeshare, renters (Homesharers) pay just €195 per month for a room in a homeowner (Householders) that can spare the space.
In exchange for this low cost, the Homesharer must also commit 10 hours each week to spend in the house with the Householder, to help out with simple household tasks.
They must also commit to staying in the house at least five nights a week.
Lucie Cunningham is the managing director of Homeshare. She has a background in homecare and thinks the business offers a unique solution to two problems.
It enables students or young professionals a place to live at a significantly lower cost than the market average.
It also provides the homeowner, often older and sometimes lonely people, some company and help with the day-to-day running of the house.
Cunningham explained that both parties have to go through an application process, and that the biggest task is to match people who will get along together.
“The match has to be right, that’s the most important part,” she said.
“There’s one case of a retired solicitor and we matched him up with a law student: match made in heaven.
“The law student came out with a first in their degree and the retired solicitor was absolutely delighted to be able to share some of their knowledge.”
Currently, the service is only available in Dublin, and there have been seven successful matches made so far.
Cunningham has high hopes the business will expand as awareness amongst the public grows.
She said: “It’s going absolutely fantastic so far. I see this as an affordable solution for a lot of older people who are at home and who are lonely. It will give people more choice.”
If you would like to find out more then visit thehomeshare.ie.