Nesterly's Maine Homeshare Program Now Open

Released: Jul 1, 2024

AUGUSTA — Maine’s first statewide home-sharing program managed by the online platform Nesterly is now accepting guest applications as it begins the process of matching those with extra space in their homes with eligible guests.

“Nesterly’s team is excited and pleased to move to this important next phase in our Maine pilot program,” said Nesterly founder and CEO Noelle Marcus. 

Nesterly first launched its operation in Maine earlier this year, as it began the process of recruiting hosts with the help of local home-sharing champions and advocates from several statewide organizations, including AARP-Maine.

Nesterly has successfully launched similar programs in Massachusetts, Ohio and Kentucky. Those platforms focus mainly on metropolitan locations while Nesterly's effort in Maine will be its first statewide platform, and in a largely rural state.

The effort began with an idea promoted by Age Friendly Saco, an organization focused on active aging through health, engagement, and safety opportunities for local elder adults. After a successful bill sponsored by State Representative Maggie O’Neil of Saco became state law supported and signed by Governor Janet Mills, a one-year pilot program was launched.

“Across the state, we desperately need more affordable housing. At the same time, many older Mainers and empty nesters have a spare room they would be interested in renting out. This program ensures more homeowners have the support they need to do so,” Representative O’Neil said. “Homeshare will help with the entire process, from vetting and connecting compatible renters and homeowners, to signing a lease and collecting rent, and even providing ongoing support. It's a great opportunity to help address our housing crisis and form new connections.”

MaineHousing is sponsoring the pilot program and has contracted with Nesterly to administer it here in Maine.

“This is a new and innovative approach in matching people who may have a spare bedroom or other rentable living space in their home with a housemate they have been matched with through a careful screening process – including background checks and other safeguards for both hosts and renters,” said MaineHousing’s Senior Director of Communications and Government Relations Erik Jorgensen. “MaineHousing is very encouraged that this program can become an important piece of the puzzle as we continue to seek solutions that bolster housing options and affordablity."

And while successful matches can result in financial benefits for both hosts and guests, the Nesterly model is about more than just finances. The connectivity that results from homesharing can also enhance social well-being and reduce isolation and loneliness for participants, particularly for older Mainers who may be aging in place alone.

“The benefits of home sharing can go far beyond financial rewards,” said Noël Bonam, AARP Maine State Director. “Successful home sharing can also offer personal enrichment including much-appreciated companionship. Loneliness and isolation can be a significant cause for concern among older residents. For participants in the program, home share matching can provide a more healthful and engaging option. Of course, it also offers similar benefits to the home-seeker. A win-win.”

Learn More About Nesterl's Maine Homeshare Pilot

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