gazette logo rev 500

By Nancy Hahn

It is nearly impossible to watch the news without hearing a discussion of about a long list of housing issues in Denver and the metro area. Colorado housing costs have soared. Affordable housing is hard to find.

On May 21 at Right Coast Pizza, a fundraiser will be held for Sunshine Home Share Colorado, a program helping to create solutions for some important housing issues. Hops for Housing will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., at 7100 W. 38th Ave., in Wheat Ridge. Tickets begin at $20, are tax deductible, and include a pint and a slice or more.

Home Sharing is an idea used by more than 64 groups throughout the United States to match homeowners with home seekers. Home seekers struggle to find affordable housing in an area where they want to live. Many older homeowners are living alone in homes that once held a family. Look around any neighborhood: Many of those homes have empty bedrooms. Ninety percent of senior homeowners want to stay in their home, but many cannot afford the taxes.  In Denver, 60,000 people spend more than half of their income on their housing. Matching homeowners with home seekers is the goal of Sunshine Home Share. It helps home seekers find affordable housing in an area where they want to live. Homeowners are matched with home seekers that fit their personality and their needs.

Alison Joucovsky, Executive Director of Sunshine Home Share, worked for years with the seniors of Wheat Ridge and Edgewater through Jewish Family Services Colorado Senior Connection. She then set up and developed Sunshine Home Share, as a nonprofit, which matches senior homeowners and renters. Background checks and references are processed. Then the program matches needs, personalities, and locations. Both homeowner and home seeker have wish lists and must-haves. The homeowner might need a trip to the grocery store every few weeks, someone to mow the lawn or walk the dog. The renter might need garage space or a kitchen area for gluten-free food. Creating a perfect match takes time. Finally the prospective Home Share partners meet. If they feel comfortable, a short trial of the living arrangement is set up. If that is successful, an agreement is written and signed. Then the renter moves in. Sunshine visits the home during the first year and is available to help with any issues.

The Sunshine Home Share program is not expensive, but finding funding is critically important. The process of making a match, keeping someone in their home, and helping someone find affordable housing costs less than $1,500. This fundraiser will help create great solutions for some real housing issues. When you buy a ticket for a pint and a slice or more, you will help fund Sunshine Home Share Colorado and to support independence in aging and affordable housing. Tickets begin at $20 and are tax deductible. All proceeds go to Sunshine Home Share Colorado. So head to Right Coast Pizza on May 21 at Right Coast Pizza and enjoy a pint and a slice or two.

For more information visit sunshinehomeshare.org or call 303-915-8264.