Jane, Maisy and Vee in a Homeshare with a Difference

Jane and her 12-year-old daughter, Maisy, are enjoying the recent addition to their coterie — Meela, an impossibly cute pug/poodle/chihuahua cross. Jane is an English teacher in her early fifties working in a large state school in Kensal Rise, North-West London. As a single mum with a demanding schedule, her two cats and a dog bring her comfort and escape, as they do Maisy, in their cosy three-bedroom flat.

It was a perfect set up with just one drawback, as Jane explains “I’m a single mum with no family on hand, and with babysitting fees making everything so expensive particularly now the cost-of-living is so high, the only thing I missed was having a night out once in a while. Maisy is old enough not to need a babysitter to interact with, but having an adult around if I’m not here is essential”.

Thus, while Jane had been preparing to rent out their spare room to a lodger, her attention was diverted by Hapipod. She discovered that the new homeshare matching site offered her the opportunity to find a compatible homesharer who would provide not only an income of £81 per week (£350 pcm) but also 8 hours a week of practical help. “I thought it was a great idea, to find someone who would be able to help me with childcare, pet care and a little light housework. But I wanted someone who would be a good match for myself and my child, who we could hopefully build a good relationship with.”

Through Hapipod, Jane found Vee, a 28 year old psychology student from Malaysia, who was studying for a masters degree at the University of East London. Having shortlisted a number of potential homesharers, all of whom had passed the site’s integrated ID and background check, she wanted someone who also had a DBS certificate and childcare experience.

Although Vee had family in the UK, she wanted to live independently, but could not afford market rents, until Hapipod gave her a way to more than halve her costs. It took several interviews for Jane to find Vee, but once she did, they clicked immediately.

“It was truly easy for Jane and I to agree the activities and the room fee as we understood each other” says Vee. “It’s amazing to be able to reduce the cost of the room by offering some help, because it makes me feel like I’m living in my own house and caring for it as I usually would. It really doesn’t feel like anything extra.”

The real joy for both, though, comes from their shared interests, as Jane notes “the best moments for me are listening to Vee and Maisy talk about Anime characters, something I know nothing about.” Vee agrees “I really am enjoying our conversations, plus I get to spend time with the pets.”

Hapipod brings together a variety of homeowners and room-seekers from different circumstances, seeking to enhance their home lives. The matching site connects the two groups in a practical exchange of time or help for reduced room fees. It can work for families needing childcare, or people living alone who would just like a little more company or help with upkeep, as well as an income. Meanwhile it opens up affordable accommodation for potentially millions of people of all ages on restricted incomes. Additionally, the search filters enable people to connect by background, personality and shared interests making the outcomes more likely to be successful.

Jane is very happy with their homeshare arrangement. “I have already recommended Hapipod to friends as it has been extremely useful to find someone who is willing to offer some help, and also pay to have a room.”

For Vee it also offers dual benefits. “This arrangement just gives me a peace of mind in terms of finances, especially in London. I am also closer to my workplace, and I can save up for other commitments.”

It is FREE to register at Hapipod.com, set up a profile and see who’s available. Members only need pay the one-off ID check fee and subscription if and when they see someone of interest. Each registration in a new area should encourage others to join. Members must be over 18.

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Andrea Frankenthal

Andrea Frankenthal

Founder of Hapipod Inspired Homeshare, Filmmaker, Social Observer, Casual Contrarian