San Juan County pilots home share program

Submitted by San Juan County

Local housing advocates are moving forward with a proposed San Juan County HomeShare Program.

A pilot program will be launched since 113 community members responded positively through an online survey.

The survey identified two groups of potential participants: Potential home providers, who own or stably rent a home, and potential home seekers, who do not own or stably rent a home.

Of the potential home providers, 60 percent of respondents both own/stably rent a home and have an extra bedroom or unused guesthouse. Of those select (60 percent) respondents, 34.6 percent said they were “very likely” or “likely” to open their home to another individual. Also, 15 percent of respondents are already informally acting as a home provider to fellow community members.

Of the potential home seekers, 100 percent struggle to find affordable rental housing; and 73.1 percent of respondents said they were either “very willing” or “willing” to live in an extra bedroom or guesthouse of a fellow island resident. This data demonstrates the need and willingness of those struggling to find housing to participate in this program, and that there are individuals in the community who will open their doors.

The local family resource center is seeking up to 10 individuals interested in participating in a pilot program as home providers on San Juan Island. These individuals should either own a home or be in a stable, long-term lease agreement (with the ability to legally sub-let), and have an extra bedroom, living accommodation or guesthouse that they are willing to rent out. Those who may need assistance with housework or yard work, and individuals currently acting as home providers are encouraged to attend.

Pilot participants will attend an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m., Aug. 22 at the resource center to learn about the program and provide feedback.

Attending the informational meeting does not automatically sign you up to participate in the program. All participants in the San Juan County HomeShare program will have background and references checked by the resource center before they are eligible.

For more information, contact Abby Anderson, housing and asset coordination VISTA at or 360-370-7515.