The idea of homesharing as a win-win is spreading and as it does remember that finding the right housemate is critical to a harmonious home. Butte County in Chico State California was rocked by the horrific Camp Fire of 2018. The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history, it was also one of the most expensive recent natural disasters in terms of insured losses.
The fire destroyed about 14,000 residences in Butte County, which was already facing a housing crisis before the fire. The senior community was especially hard hit. Butte County "has a higher share of people 65 or older (at more than 18 percent) compared to California (at 14 percent)," the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. Sierra Schmidt, a social worker in Chico State saw a potential solution for those in the area: homesharing. She began a non-profit called Home & Heart.
"What's great is that you add housing without the use of a nail," Schmidt told Camille Von Kaenel of the Chico Enterprise-Record. "We're just utilizing existing housing stock, and we're helping older adults age in their own home."
Home & Heart and many other non-profit and for-profit home share organizations help match housemates. In many cases, the match allows seniors to age in place, gives students affordable rental options, and helps homeowners keep their homes by earning more rental income. All without turning to expensive new-builds as a solution in areas with housing shortages. As seen in Butte County and beyond, homesharing is truly a win-win for everyone involved. And yet, it's not necessarily simple to match homeowners with potential roommates.
It Comes Down to a Good Match
A successful homeshare relies on a good match between the homeowner and the housemate. Simply going to Craig's List or placing an ad in a local newspaper can be both dangerous and time consuming. That's where agencies like HomeShare Alliance come in. We use our expertise and carefully pre-vetted network to selectively match homeowners with housemates.
All our potential roommates undergo a screening interview, a detailed compatibility check and are vetted through an extensive background check (financial and criminal) before they're introduced to a potential homeowner. This process ensures the safety of everyone involved, and with our experience and compatibility check we take personality, interests, likes and dislikes into account to ensure a harmonious match.
We also assist in the paperwork that's necessary to outline the terms of the home share arrangement. It is especially important to put the details of the agreement in writing, especially in a supplemental or task exchange home share arrangement. This contract ensures that all parties are clear and in agreement about each other's expectations and responsibilities, and ultimately protects everyone involved.
Considering homesharing and not sure what to do to get started? Give the team at Home Share Alliance a call. We're offering online interviews and free phone consultations to answer any questions you may have about homesharing.