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Homeshare program seeks homeowners with room to spare for renters

Vashon Household, the local nonprofit organization dedicated to affordable housing, is looking for islanders willing to rent out rooms in their homes.

Barbara Brown, Vashon Household’s assistant property manager, said that the organization has several people seeking housing as part of its Homeshare program but does not have any rooms available for them.

“They are all very personable people,” she said. “I have done complete background checks and interviewed references.”

Brown noted that many people who have rooms to rent do it through other methods, such as VashonAll or Craigslist, and that the Homeshare program, now two years old, has been slow to take off.

However, there are several advantages to renting through Vashon Household, she said, including that renters are carefully vetted and those who rent receive information on how to set up agreements, solve problems that might arise and make clear both parties’ responsibilities and expectations.

Brown said that most people in the program can pay between $300 and $500 per month in rent, and some are also willing to provide labor, such as cooking, pet care or elder care, as part of a rent exchange.

Ideal candidates for renting a space would have an extra room in their home, provide access to a bathroom and kitchen and possibly share their living space as well, Brown said.

Such an arrangement would be a contribution to the community in terms of increasing affordable housing, she said, and would help people immediately.

Currently one man and four women are on the waiting list; one of the women has two grown children and a grandson. Additional people are also seeking housing, but they have not been through the complete approval process yet.

For more information on the program, see www.VashonHousehold.org or call the office 463-6454.

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