One of the ways to deal with the affordable housing crisis is to do home sharing. Fremont has been investigating how to increase this. The press release from the City is below.
In an effort to create more affordable housing options for its residents, the City of Fremont reached out to HIP Housing, the San Mateo based nonprofit that runs one of the nation’s largest Home Sharing programs and has been around for more than 40 years. As of August 1, 2015, the organization now serves those who are seeking housing who live or work in the City of Fremont and persons with a room to rent who live in Fremont, Newark and Union City. In San Mateo County, HIP provides affordable housing for more than 1,400 people each year.
The Home Sharing Program creates affordable housing from the existing housing stock by matching people who have spare bedrooms with those looking for a place to live. It is a mutually beneficial solution – those renting out a room in their home (Home Providers) can supplement their income, while those who need a place to live (Home Seekers) can find stability and security at an affordable rate.
Since sharing a home can come with occasional conflicts, HIP Housing has developed a system to help prevent and mitigate any problems. When matches are made, both parties sit down with one of the organization’s experienced counselors to perform a “Living Together Agreement”, wherein they outline the rules, details, musts, and deal-breakers for cohabitating. From there, every participant has long-term counseling available to them for as long as they remain in the program, with the staff serving as an unbiased, professional support system for the clients.
HIP Housing’s solutions are especially useful in the current housing climate as the average cost of rent continues to rise. New affordable housing units are built, but not fast enough to account for the rapidly growing numbers of people who cannot afford to live here. The organization has seen a sizeable increase in calls about Home Sharing from those hoping to boost their income, those trying to recover from homelessness, and everyone in between. And, after 41 years, HIP Housing’s Home Sharing Program has become a strong network of staff, board members, and clients truly invested in this community.
For more information about HIP Housing’s Home Sharing Program, please contact HIP Housing Coordinator Laura Moya at 510-574-2173 or visit Fremont’s Human Services Department at 3300 Capitol Ave., Building B in Fremont.