Do you have a room for rent?
Rental rates in Kitsap County are at an all-time high, and many working people, those with disabilities on a fixed income, students, and seniors are unable to afford housing. At the same time, many homeowners could benefit from rental income, help around the house, and companionship.
Most people greatly value their privacy and independence, and may be uncertain about inviting another person to share their home; however, a renter can add great value to a household, particularly for those who would otherwise live alone. A home share can provide safety, security, and companionship, as well as enabling older adults and those with disabilities to continue living independently. The HomeShare program can help you find a compatible home-mate.Apply Now
Shared living is a win-win for both home providers and home seekers! Increased affordability, the chance to give and receive help with household tasks, and the security and companionship offered by shared living are some of the benefits.
Is it safe?
We rigorously screen all of our program participants by performing criminal background and reference checks.
How does it work?
People interested in the HomeShare program fill out an application, and a “get to know you” interview is conducted with the program coordinator. A profile is created for every participant, identifying their needs and preferences in a shared living arrangement. When the HomeShare coordinator identifies a potential match, participants are put into direct contact with each other. It is up to them to schedule an in-person meeting at a neutral location, followed by a home visit. If both parties want to move forward, we recommend starting with a trial match (a period of time—usually two weeks—during which the participants have a chance to experience living together and decide if they want to proceed). When a match is made, we encourage participants to create a written home-sharing agreement and sign a lease (we provide samples of these documents).
Do I have to live in Poulsbo?
No! All residents of Kitsap County are welcome to apply.
Is there a cost to participate?
There is no fee for program participants. The cost of the background check is covered by Fishline.
Can a home-sharer replace an in-home care provider?
A home sharing arrangement can lessen the need for in-home health care by providing a housemate to help with household tasks; however, Fishline HomeShare is not a healthcare service and cannot provide trained caregivers or arrange for 24-hour care. When creating a home sharing agreement, participants should be very specific about which services (if any) will be exchanged for rent.
Do I have to own my home?
No! If your landlord approves, a renter can be a home provider.
How much rent should I charge?
We ask that home providers charge an affordable rate – generally between $200 and $600/month, depending on the space and amenities offered. Some or all of the rent can also take the form of services, such as house cleaning, yard work, errands, and more.
How do providers and seekers negotiate an exchange of services?
It is extremely important for participants to be clear on expectations around any exchange of services for rent. This information should be detailed in the home sharing agreement. Fishline suggests that the two parties agree how many hours will be worked per week, what tasks will be accomplished during that time, and how much “pay” will be per hour. The “going rate” for compensation is between $15-$20/hour, but it is up to the participants to determine the rate of exchange they’re comfortable with.
Do I have to sign a home sharing agreement?
We highly recommend that all participants sign a home sharing agreement. This protects all parties involved by clearly outlining expectations and the terms of the arrangement. Fishline provides sample home sharing agreements that can be used as-is or customized by participants.
Is Fishline involved once a match is made?
After a match is made, Fishline will periodically follow up to see how the match is going. The HomeShare coordinator is also available to talk with both parties at any time if issues arise.
How long does it take to make a match?
Matches can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months. Applicants in need of emergency housing should look into other options while applying to Fishline’s HomeShare program. In general, the more flexible you are, the faster you will find a match. Fishline cannot guarantee a HomeShare match for anyone.
How long do matches last?
Match length varies based on the needs of the individuals involved. They can be long-term, or temporary.
What if I don’t like the person after we are living together?
A policy for ending the arrangement should be outlined in your home sharing agreement (a requirement for written notice of 20 days is typical). If one home sharer wants to end the arrangement, it can be dissolved according to these terms. However, participants are encouraged to try to work through their differences before ending a match. Living with another person is often somewhat difficult, and usually takes work. This is another reason why a trial period can be a great way to start out.
Is HomeShare a “last resort” option?
No! HomeShare is not only a way to make housing more affordable, but can also be a great option for anyone seeking companionship or simply the security of having another person around. Many people seeking a home sharing arrangement are going through a transition, such as a job change, divorce, or return to school. HomeShare can also be a great way for participants to build their savings.