Australian Communities Foundation - Home

Sorry. You're using a browser that we
don't support.

To experience this site, please use Firefox, Chrome or Edge.

HANZA Inc (Homeshare Australia and New Zealand Alliance)

Diverting Women from Covid Homelessness

Diverting Women from Covid Homelessness

Home Share Melbourne’s homelessness project aims to match 10 people with spare bedrooms with 10 women who are at risk of homelessness due to Covid-related fin...

australia > VIC > metro
01/12/2020 > 31/08/2021


  • Social inclusion & justice
  • Individual/family services & support


  • People experiencing or at risk of homelessness
  • Asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and people from CALD backgrounds


Home Share Melbourne’s homelessness project aims to match 10 people with spare bedrooms with 10 women who are at risk of homelessness due to Covid-related financial and social vulnerability. We have applied to the Victorian Women’s Trust for 40% of the project cost.

We believe that both connection and housing are needed to divert or exit people from homelessness permanently. Homeshare provides a solution to both.

Covid-19 has increased the risk of homelessness for women who support themselves through casual work, who have lost income, and thus housing security, since the pandemic commenced in March 2020, including those on temporary protection visas, those seeking asylum, women in insecure work impacted by the restrictions, particularly in the hospitality industry and young women under the age of 25.

People with a spare room are recruited through and social networks. Women at risk of homelessness are referred by service providers or self-refer.

Skilled, experienced staff assess the householder offering a room and the prospective homesharer to identify shared living preferences, interests, strengths and support needs.

Professional staff and thorough processes ensure risks are identified and the match is supported for 6 to 12 months to negotiate conflicts and sustain housing.


Stable, secure, affordable housing – In Melbourne, 2000 people are being accommodated in hotels due to no housing options for them during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding would enable Home Share Melbourne to assist in exiting 10 women currently in hotel accommodation into safe and supportive housing with caring community members. These women may stay in their homeshare arrangement long term or be supported to move on to suitable affordable housing when they are ready.

Well-being – The homeshare model is proven to have positive well-being outcomes for both participants, sharing meals, providing emotional and practical support to each other and increased social participation.

Education and employment - Stable housing is a necessary condition for people being able to engage and succeed in education and employment. Women housed through this project will be supported to sustain or re-engage in work and study.

Social inclusion – Women on temporary visas are at particular risk of social isolation when shared housing and employment are disrupted. The relationship that forms between householder and homesharer often becomes an ongoing friendship and results in new social connections in the broader community.

Innovative affordable housing - Homelessness and a lack of affordable housing has long been a major issue in Melbourne. There is an urgent need for innovative options that can prevent homelessness and divert people from crisis services.
Sustainable ongoing funding opportunities - Building an evidence base around the effectiveness of homeshare as a route out of homelessness may open up other sources of funding, including government funding.

Profile of HANZA Inc (Homeshare Australia and New Zealand Alliance)

HANZA Inc (Homeshare Australia and New Zealand Alliance)

HANZA Inc is an incorporated organisation whose focus is to promote the homeshare model and to increase the spread of homeshare programs across Australia and New Zealand.

Homeshare started in the US in the 1970s as a way of supporting older Americans to live at home for longer. In the original model an older person is matched with a young person, who provides some light support around the home, such as shopping and companionship, in exchange for free or reduced rent.

Homeshare now operates in 18 countries across the world and has worked successfully within both the aged and disability sectors. Mutual benefit is central to homeshare.

HANZA manages its social enterprise, Home Share Melbourne, as a program that trials and demonstrates innovative ways of delivering a homeshare program, not only as a social enterprise but also as a means of extending traditional models of homesharing.

HANZA also provides a range of member support services such as advice to homeshare programs that are setting up, resources and training to existing programs, including a homeshare community of practice that has members from across Australia and New Zealand, and links to international research and homeshare programs around the world.

Home Share Melbourne is ahead of target for fee-paying clients in the disability program, has piloted the model in the homelessness space making 10 matches in the last 2 years and is looking to increase matches of women at risk of homelessness due to the impact of Covid-19.


Funding sourceAmount
Private donations to HANZA for the project$3,455
In-kind contributions$4,890
Grant from philanthropic trust (unconfirmed)$10,000
Funding gap (unconfirmed)$12,000
Expense itemAmount
Wages for 15h/wk for 9 mths$26,910
Client data system incl evaluation$1,200
Mobile phone$360
IT support$360
Advertising (to recruit householders)$660
Workcover insurance$855

Support Diverting Women from Covid Homelessness

Got a question about this project or ready to contribute? Contact our Philanthropy & Impact Team.


As a broker of change, we invite social change initiatives to apply for funding. Eligible proposals are shared with our giving community via our Granting Opportunities directory.