Provider Information
Seeker Information
Housemate Screening

Did you know HomeShare helps people survive in the current housing market?

HomeShare is a unique program in the City of San Diego and the City of Poway. The program is funded by the City of Poway through community development block grants fund in partnership with the County of San Diego and the San Diego Housing Commission. It is an affordable housing program that focuses on maximum use of existing housing stock. It is much more than a “roommate matching service.” The HomeShare program matches seniors who want to remain in their own homes with adults of all ages who are in need of housing. HomeShare is a simple solution that offers great benefit to seniors and those seeking more affordable housing.

Benefits of HomeShare

  • Independence – seniors can remain in their homes and in the communities they know and love
  • Economics – additional income for home providers, affordable rent for home seekers, and an alternative to long waiting lists for subsidized housing
  • Security – peace of mind for all involved, knowing there is more than one person in the home
  • Companionship – mutual support and the potential to build lasting friendships

In addition to making housing matches, HomeShare provides housing consultations and referrals to seniors and younger adults who are in need of affordable housing.

How Matches are Made 

ElderHelp facilitates a comprehensive process that includes intake, assessment, registration, and screening of both home providers and home seekers. This process is conducted by trained housing social workers who:

  • Complete in-home assessments and evaluate references
  • Evaluate seekers as HomeShare candidates
  • Conduct screening, reference checks and criminal background checks
  • Assist with housing agreements
  • Provide mediation and support as desired

Rental versus Service Exchange 

Home owners who are willing to share the common living areas of their house, mobile home, condominium, or apartment offer a room to individuals in need of affordable housing. Each person maintains their own private space.

HomeShare offers two separate options:

  1. The Low-Rent option involves matching a senior home owner with another individual who is looking for affordable rent. Seniors who have an extra room available in the home can supplement Social Security or other fixed income in the form of rent paid by a home seeker screened by ElderHelp.
  2. The Service Exchange option is available for home owners who may require some assistance around the house in exchange for a room. Such help may include housekeeping, cooking, transportation, grocery shopping, errands, yard work or other assistance. In addition to the support, seniors enjoy the security of someone else living in their homes and the companionship of a housemate.


For Senior Home Providers, ElderHelp offers:

• A home assessment of your needs if services are desired
• Register your room to rent if no services are needed
• Refer screened and qualified renters or housemates who will provide help in your home
• Assist in completion of a housing agreement • Provide continued match support, as desired
Sample Listing
Meet A Member

* Forms can be downloaded from the sidebar

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For Home Seekers, ElderHelp will provide the following services:

  • Help you decide if you are a good candidate for shared housing
  • If eligible, process your enrollment application
  • Refer you to compatible home providers

Home Seeker Eligibility

For all new and all reactivating seekers, all eligibility criteria must be verified before an applicant’s registration will be approved. If an applicant raises an eligibility issue that is not clearly addressed by these policies, that issue must be brought to the HomeShare supervisor before approval. Under no circumstances will referrals be given before all eligibility verification is received.

All Home Seeker registrants must:

  • Reside in San Diego County at time of registration.
  • Provide two forms of identification, valid photo identification and social security card.
  • Provide income verification including: 1) self-report of monthly and yearly income; 2) pay stub if applicant is currently employed; and 3) written verification of any other income benefits (SSI, SSD, TANF, etc.).
  • Demonstrate ability to meet living expenses (i.e., food, transportation).
  • Demonstrate no alcohol or drug dependence.
  • Demonstrate ability to meet own medical or mental health needs.
  • Provide references to verify employment history, rental history, and suitability for shared living (known for at least five years).
  • Provide doctor referral to verify suitability for shared housing if applicant is receiving SSI or is receiving treatment from a physician or psychiatrist.
  • Submit to a criminal background check.

* Forms can be downloaded from the sidebar

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ElderHelp is pleased to offer a Housemate Screening Service to individuals outside our service area who would like to take in a housemate and could use some help with the screening process. The Housemate Screening Service is a comprehensive screening and assessment of potential housemates for a fee.

Who is eligible for the service?

Home providers living within San Diego County and surrounding communities, but outside the HomeShare service area.

What is the service area?

ElderHelp’s HomeShare service area includes the following: most zip codes beginning with 921, within the City of San Diego; the City of La Jolla, 92037; and, the City of Poway, 92064. All other zip codes are considered to be outside ElderHelp’s HomeShare service area.

What is provided?

The screening process offered by ElderHelp includes the following:

  • A comprehensive personal interview and assessment conducted by a professional HomeShare Coordinator.
  • A criminal background check through the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
  • Proof of income.
  • References checked including employer, landlord, and personal references known at least 5 years.
  • A doctor’s report if determined necessary.
  • A current driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles if determined necessary.
  • Proof of automobile insurance if determined necessary.

* Forms can be downloaded from the sidebar

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