Affordable Housing Program Designed to Benefit Older Homeowners Is Once Again Accepting Applications
Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N), a local nonprofit providing a spectrum of housing stability services in Larimer County, is once again recruiting participants for its HomeShare Program, after being placed on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In early 2018, Neighbor to Neighbor and Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities co-developed a program designed to address the scarcity of affordable housing in Larimer County, while also providing older adult homeowners with a safe and beneficial way to remain in their homes. “It’s time we embrace new ways of looking at housing because the traditional model is no longer working for our community, and especially for our older residents,” says N2N Executive Director Kelly Evans. “Programs like HomeShare create a valuable and innovative housing opportunity that has the power to both support older homeowners while increasing our inventory of affordable housing.”
Thanks to funding provided by the NextFifty Initiative, HomeShare is a free, safe, and convenient service that connects older homeowners who have space and could use a little help – whether that be with rent income or household assistance – with individuals looking for affordable housing who are open to and interested in a less traditional lease. The program was temporarily halted in May 2020 due to Covid-19, however, N2N and NextFifty Initiative remained committed to relaunching the program, and HomeShare is once again accepting applications for both home providers and home seekers.
“In order to be successful, we need homeowners who are willing to participate,” explains program manager Gia Heflin. “Agreements can take many forms and may include reduced rent in exchange for services like cooking, cleaning, shopping, or maintenance. Any curious homeowner over 55 years in age can speak with one of our HomeShare counselors to learn more about how it works and explore benefits they’d like to achieve from the program.”
Sheila, a participating homeowner, shared, “N2N’s home-sharing program is a wonderful concept to help both home providers and home seekers. It is the only program I have heard of that thoroughly matches the wants and needs of both parties. My first home seeker was the perfect renter and we will be friends for life.”
N2N HomeShare counselors screen all applicants with a background check and personal interview. Upon acceptance into the program, matches are offered based on each applicant’s expressed needs and interests. After the meeting, and if both parties agree to the match, a N2N counselor assists in the creation of their living agreement. Resources that aim to support the match, such as budgeting, preventing identity fraud, and city mediation services, are also discussed. Homeowners must be 55 years or older and reside within Larimer County to apply, however, home seekers can be adults of any age.
Founded in 1970, Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) is the lead provider of homelessness and eviction prevention in Northern Colorado. Each year, N2N impacts over 6,000 Larimer County residents by providing stable housing options for families and individuals. Over 90% of households who receive N2N assistance remain in stable housing six months after receiving assistance. In addition to eviction and homelessness prevention, N2N provides foreclosure prevention, reverse mortgage counseling, homeownership education, youth, and resident services, and is an affordable housing landlord with apartments in Loveland and Fort Collins.