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Homeshare program could bring more affordable housing to Kootenai County

A new homeshare program coming to Kootenai County could bring more affordable housing to the region in a unique way.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — There currently is not enough housing supply in the Inland Northwest, which is driving up housing prices. Now, a new homeshare program is coming to Kootenai County that could bring more affordable housing to the region in a unique way.

Homeshare Kootenai County will be a database of people who either have extra space in their homes, or people who need housing. Coeur d’Alene city councilmember Kiki Miller is helping launch the new program. She says the idea has been popular so far.

"[It is] just two people that aren't related. We profile them, match them up and then put them in a situation that's beneficial to both,” Miller said. 

It is a safer way to find roommates or exchange money or services for housing. Kootenai County is joining several other counties across the country already participating in the program.

Miller said the program has been proven to create long-lasting matches, because of the vetting process each person must go through. Before joining the homeshare site, each person will have to go through some background checks.

This is the first Homeshare program in Idaho. It could be a solution for many types of people, including snowbirds, college students, empty nesters, seasonal workers, and others. 

"This is just one little slice of the pie that's a potential solution, that opens up some available spaces that people have to people who really need to rent,” Miller said.

The program is slow launching over the next few months. Miller says the goal is to start making matches by July.

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