Supervisor proposes home-sharing program for older Southern Arizonans

Posted at 10:24 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 01:24:56-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It's called home-sharing and the idea is simple. A homeowner who has an extra room is connected with a roommate who could help them with daily living.

It helps keep the homeowner from going into assisted living.

"With a little bit of help, like help with meals prep, maybe help with a little bit of shopping just that knowledge of someone else around in case there's an accident or there's a fall, that is really all that they need to stay in their home for quite a bit longer," said Pima County Supervisor Dr. Matt Heinz.

The roommate, who may need to downsize, benefits by paying a reduced rent or no rent at all.

Heinz is proposing that the Pima Council on Aging run the matching service. The formal process includes criminal background checks.

"I think it's very important that people know they're going to be safe for both parties involved," Heinz said.

The program would cost about $200,000 through the fiscal year.

Heinz says a large chunk of the older population in Pima County are either vulnerable to becoming homeless or need more home-based services.

"I'm hopeful that my colleagues will approve it," Heinz said. "We're getting a lot of letters of support from the community saying they would like to see this happen."

The board of supervisors is expected to take up the proposal at Tuesday's board meeting.