Share-your-home Option With Grant-funded Support Services

When homeowners can offer a rental on Airbnb or similar platforms, which have ratings and handle the financial transactions for you, why would anyone choose a different way? If they’re looking for long term, why would they choose not to advertise in typical ways? The short answer is, the share-your-home program is about more than offering housing. It’s about friendship, mutual support, and compassion for like-minded people who are in a tough situation.

We recognize that it can feel risky and unfamiliar to share your extra space, so we have set up some support services to help homeowners decide what’s workable and prepare for a successful home share. You might need assistance setting up legal agreements and finding a loan to retrofit your extra space. Read on to see how we can help.

Renter Qualifications for Share-your-home Program

We work to find grant funders who have a mission to assist a vulnerable or disadvantaged population. Here are some of the qualifying characteristics some choose to prioritize:

  • working families finding it a challenge to make ends meet
  • teens aging out of foster care who aren’t yet ready to be economically self-sufficient
  • people with intellectual developmental disabilities who can mostly manage on their own but need help once in a while

These people have a lot to offer if they find the right match. ICmatch is a free platform connecting compatible people for long-term residence sharing. We specialize in showing the positive but often hidden characteristics that could make someone a fun or helpful person to have around. Sometimes people work out a rent discount in exchange for playing a caretaking role for an aging family member, children, or pets. One key to success is to make clear agreements up front so that misunderstandings are minimized. We’re here to help with that.

Step 1: Find the right match.

Prerequisites for homeowners:

  • A match consultant will visit your home and make sure it has basic safety features (fire extinguisher, smoke alarm), basic comforts (bed, adequate lighting, heating, cooling), and basic privacy (locks, window coverings, own bed room).
  • Complete an individual ICmatch profile with most questions answered. This helps you and others find the best fit available.
  • Clarify what type of help your ideal home share match would be good at.
  • State if there is any extra help you would be willing to give, such as a ride to the grocery store at the times you regularly go.

Self-promotion can feel awkward, maybe even boastful. We want to help promote you and the potential homeshare matches so a mutually beneficial relationship can start to develop.

Your ICmatch consultant will:

  • Communicate with potential matches on the ICmatch platform if that part feels uncomfortable to you
  • Search or advertise on other platforms to identify potential matches with compatibility and readiness.
  • Invite the most promising potential matches to take a look at your home share offer.

Step 2: Identify Funding Sources & Supports

Your ICmatch consultant will provide:

  • Depending on what financial resources the home share match has, we might need to help search for additional funds to offer an adequate rent.
  • We might be able to suggest or partner with local support services.
  • Assistance identifying grants for upgrades that may be needed to meet the basic safety, comfort, and privacy requirements. Because the upgrade will benefit the homeowner regardless of whether you continue with the share-your-home program, it’s important for the homeowner to take on the bulk of this responsibility. We can help search for available grants. We can connect you with a qualified grant writer.
  • We can review your grant and make recommendations after it seems ready to submit.

Step 3: Write up Agreements 

Prerequisites: We’ll give the homeowner a template to write out what they agree to and what they need the home share match to agree to, such as not letting a pet out of the house or yard unattended, or airing out the bathroom daily to prevent mold.

Your ICmatch consultant will provide:

•      Review and feedback of the agreements draft.

•      Provide the agreements draft to candidates who seem promising.

Step 4: Plan Outreach and Visibility 

Prerequisites:

  • Let us know if you have privacy considerations. For example, if there are local organizations that we might partner with but you don’t want your home share offer advertised to them, it’s important for us to know.
  • We would like to have photos of the parts of your home that will be accessible for the home share resident. We will share these only in ways you agree to.

Your ICmatch consultant will provide:

  • We may post a non-identifying general offer on relevant social media or other online platforms.
  • We will include you in partnering with aligned local organizations as much as you are willing.

Step 5: Meet Potential Homeshare Matches

Your ICmatch consultant will provide:

  • An online 3-way meeting to introduce you to each other.
  • An in-person meeting at a neutral location to discuss agreements.
  • An in-person meeting at your home, including a walk-thru of the parts of your home that will be accessible for the home share resident, and a chance to get to know briefly any family members or others who live there.

Step 6: 1-Month and 3-Month Trial Periods

Your ICmatch consultant will provide:

  • Weekly check-ins to see if help is needed to discuss any delicate issues or misunderstandings.
  • Help to identify potential partnerships with aligned local organizations that can offer ongoing support.
  • Guilt-free assistance to end the relationship if big issues can’t be resolved after a month.
  • Meeting after a month to adjust agreements if needed, with plans to assess the situation after another two to three months

Step 7: Mediation

Prerequisite: Try the suggested communication formats and techniques we will provide before requesting mediation.

Your ICmatch consultant will provide:

  • Mediation and/or conflict resolution if there has been unresolved tension with each other, with neighbors, or with a support organization.
  • If no mediation is needed during the first 6 months, we may plan with you both a brief celebration event to congratulate you on your successful homeshare.

Step 8: Program Evaluation

Your ICmatch consultant will request periodic written responses and brief phone check-ins, to make sure you both feel supported and are able to work on challenges.

Requested Pay-it-Forward

Provide a paragraph about how it’s working out, preferably that ICmatch is allowed to publish. This may help us validate the program’s usefulness as we seek grants to continue the program.