Eastover Court airbnb

Eastover Court in Crescent Hill. October 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new homeshare platform is launching in Louisville to provide more affordable housing options.

Nesterly connects renters to available rooms in people’s houses for a reasonable price, and it in turn helps homeowners cash in on some extra rent. The group first launched in Boston in 2017. It was planning to set up in Louisville last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed those efforts.

The Louisville Urban League hosted a webinar Thursday to show how it works, as renters and hosts can sign up on the website as of Thursday. First, both parties go through a thorough vetting and approval process before anyone moves in.

“We have a multi-step process that everyone on the platform goes through,” said Noelle Marcus, the founder and CEO of Nesterly. “One is a complete and full application, which describes what you do for work, where you go to school, what your background is, do you speak multiple languages, where you’re from and why do you want to be a part of this inter-generational community?”

Both renters and hosts will also have to provide references and pass criminal background checks. Once they’re approved to be on the site, they can securely message each other to see if it’s a good match before creating a homeshare-ing agreement and setting rent payments.

Louisville has shortage of affordable housing, and the pandemic highlighted the need for more stable options. According to Nesterly, rent prices in Louisville have gone up 5% to 11% in the last year. And Marcus said a study shows the city has 30,000 spare rooms in the homes of baby boomers. Nesterly wants to connect older people that might need a little extra income to the right tenants. And the platform allows hosts to discount the monthly rate if renters agree to chores or helping around the house.

The homeshare-ing agreement must be for a minimum of one month, and Nesterly sets up the rent payments to automatically deduct from the renter’s bank account and deposit directly into the host’s. Since Nesterly is considered a long-term stay rental platform, it does not need to register with Metro Government or pay fees like Airbnb or short-term hotels.

Rent is set by the host, and Marcus believes it’ll be around $500 or less in the Louisville market. Nesterly does deduct a $95-$195 fee, depending on the length of stay, from the first rent payment.

Nesterly hopes to have 300-500 people signed up in the Louisville market by September. The group is also testing the waters in Columbus, Ohio.

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