This civic technology project was completed through Citizen Interaction Design in partnership with Michigan Engaging Community through the Classroom.
The Northwest Michigan region is facing a shortage of affordable housing, which makes it difficult for individuals and families to find long-term rental arrangements. This shortage largely impacts those in low to middle income brackets. As a result, a wide span of industry sectors are facing shortages in their workforce due to the lack of available, affordable housing.
Our solution is a toolbox designed to support implementing homeshare programs in Northwest Michigan. This toolbox is specifically designed to support facilitators of homeshare programs. Homesharing does not depend on increased housing development as it makes use of available housing stock. Homeshare programs uncover unused housing options by providing community members with incentives to utilize it. Incentives include bartering of services, additional income, and companionship.
Furthermore, homesharing can serve as a mechanism to connect members of the community with inverse needs and create alliances around affordable housing. Considering these parameters, homesharing offers the means to reduce competition through a collaborative solution. Connecting various segments of the population through homeshare arrangements provides a viable avenue to address the housing problem in Northwest Michigan.
Check out the sustainability report below for more details.