Who is Smart Share Housing Solutions?
Our volunteer board members and four part-time staffers believe that safe, affordable housing is a human right, and that a thriving, inclusive community is impossible without access to attainable, sustainable housing.
- Smart Share Housing Solutions Board of Directors 2023 -
Joanna is a grant writer at Elevate, focused on assistance for non-profit affordable housing providers. She has many years of working to create and support affordable housing from the non-profit and government sectors. "I am passionate about the need for affordable housing as well as the need to maximize our use of all the resources available. Smart Share Housing Solutions is the perfect marriage of those two."
Lisa Gonzalez, EA, MBA
Lisa is a professional accountant and an IRS enrolled agent. She keeps a sense of humor, whether the numbers come up black or red, as she handles the books for several local non-profits and serves on multiple oversight boards, including the SLO County YMCA and St. Ben's. Lisa is committed to helping non-profits utilize best practices and enjoys the opportunity to serve, and she would like to remind potential donors out there that "You can't take it with you."
As Executive Director of the Casita Coalition, Celeste brings a wealth of knowledge about small, efficient, affordable forms of housing and also statewide advocacy and legislative activities to the Smart Share board. In addition to being a statewide policy expert, Celeste has counted several ADUs as home, so she understands benefits first hand.
Ms. Kennedy has over 30 years of experience directing and working with community non-profit groups. Recognizing the need for affordable housing for vulnerable populations, she believes homesharing and small housing can be a part of the solution. As a senior senior, Ms Kennedy is experiencing the challenges San Luis Obispo seniors face, and plans her days to minimize driving and trips up and down the stairs, among other things
Erik, a San Luis Obispo Realtor, is also a planner and has worked as a project manager for a Civil Engineering company where he focused on designing subdivisions and helping property owners acquire planning permits from local jurisdictions. Erik helped permit the Emerald Village tiny home project in Eugene, Oregon and brings his experience with planning, permitting and project management to Smart Share's Waterman Village development team.
Grace Crittenden, MD
An internist in San Luis Obispo, Grace now focuses care for senior clients and sees isolation as a contributor to poor health outcomes. She believes homeshare can be a solution and that safe, secure, affordable housing is a key component for health. She brings her breath of knowledge and passion for holistic health to Smart Share.
Carl is a San Luis Obispo electrical contractor, who enjoys assisting with local non-profit and community benefiting organizations, including the SLO Guild Hall and Food Co-op. Carl's interest in sustainability and housing and know-how when it comes to project development make for a natural fit on Smart Share's Waterman Village team.
Mike has been supportive of efforts to combat homelessness in SLO County for more than 30 years including five years as President of the 5Cities Homeless Coalition.
He has worked with various local organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of SLO County; Junior Achievement; Latino Outreach Council and more. He's currently a volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps of SLO County.
- Smart Share Housing Solutions Staff 2023 -
Anne is a planning consultant with specialties in small housing, historic preservation, sustainable mobility and tourism. She has been a frequent contributor to the national magazine Planning and Vice Chair of the San Luis Obispo County Commission on Aging. She is a County Planning Commissioner and serves on several volunteer boards including the Casita Coalition; National Shared Housing Resource Center & Friends of the Bob Jones Trail.
Client Services Manager
Rustin has over 10 years of experience working in housing & property management. He joined the Smart Share team in 2022 with a strong interest in social service, and his caring, empathetic passion for helping people provides capable, warm client support for the HomeShareSLO program. Rustin lives in an off grid tiny home, so he is an expert in alternative, sustainable living, and has a passion for mindfulness, wellness and sustainability.
Vicki van den Eikhof
Vicki is our latest hire as Deputy Director and has spent more than a decade working in the non-profit sector to benefit public schools-- mostly in performing arts education. Vicki passionately believes that every person on this earth is born to be creative. "It is imperative for our survival as well as our personal happiness, that we discover our creative outlets and learn to use them to make the world a better place." She is excited to bring her experience and creativity to Smart Share Housing Solutions.
Mavis joined Smart Share in May 2022. She is excited to be a part of this team and believes strongly in the mission of Smart Share Housing Solutions.
How We Got Here - History of Smart Share Housing Solutions
Recognizing that there are more housing solutions available than people commonly think, the non-profit Smart Share Housing Solutions started as HomeShareSLO in 2016 with the mission to help connect people and homes. HomeShareSLO was modeled after approximately 60 successful homesharing programs in the U.S. (More information about these programs at National Shared Housing Resource Center.)
Homesharing builds on community capacity and facilitates matches between "providers," people with an extra room, and "seekers," people seeking housing. Homesharing provides extra income and security for home providers, and it provides a safe, affordable house for persons in need of housing. Because the community is helped with provision of housing with little to no public subsidies or having to build new structures, it is a win-win-win.
With thanks to support from a dedicated board of volunteers, fiscal sponsorship support from Ecologistics, and funding from the City of Morro Bay, County of San Luis Obispo, Dignity Health and a handful of committed private donors, HomeShareSLO commenced operations, signing up the first home seekers and providers, in January 2017.
Two years after inception, Smart Share Housing Solutions achieved independent non-profit status, continuing to use the name HomeShareSLO.
In 2019, in addition to the initial HomeShareSLO program, Smart Share Housing Solutions added two new housing programs to support safe, affordable, sustainable housing in the County of San Luis Obispo: ADU SLO and the Co-Living Collaborative.
In 2020, a new Reduced Rent Task Exchange Homeshare option was added, along with Safer Share, a program to help homeowners add a separate living space to their homes, for rental income without sharing common space. [HomeShareSLO no longer offer this option.]
By the end of 2020, the HomeShareSLO program has signed up more than 300 home seekers and providers and matched together more than 130 clients in safe, affordable homes. These matches generate approximately $8,000 income per year for the mostly lower-income senior home providers, supporting their ability to provide for basic services, while saving the home seekers an average of $6,000 per year, as compared to renting a studio or one-bedroom apartment.
In June, 2022, Smart Share submitted a development application for Waterman Village to the City of San Luis Obispo as a partnership with the City and spent the remainder of 2023 shepherding the project through development review.
By the end of 2023, the approximately 100 homeshare matches facilitated through the HomeShareSLO program have brought direct financial benefit to providers in income rental and cost savings for seekers of about $2M since inception--an approximate six-fold return on investment--and growing!
The Smart Share Housing Solutions all volunteer board and staff look forward to continuing to work with you to provide housing solutions in the form of hope and safe homes for residents of San Luis Obispo County.
Smart Share Housing Solutions, a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, develops innovative housing solutions that add to the stock of attainable, sustainable housing, and to connect and empower our community. We are a 501(c)(3) public benefit non-profit corporation. Our Federal I.D. number is EIN# 82-3151265. Smart Share Housing Solutions is a member of the National Shared Housing Resource Center and currently operates three programs.
- HomeShareSLO--Facilitates matches between those with an extra room and those looking for affordable housing.
- ADU SLO--Assists property owners on the logistics of adding housing units using backyards, garages, infill lots and existing buildings.
- Co-Living Collaborative--Develops shared housing projects, including the Waterman Village, a neighborhood of 20 affordable small homes surrounding a historic adobe in downtown San Luis Obispo, now in development.
HomeShareSLO: Facilitates matches between home providers (people with an extra room) and home seekers (those looking for a home). It helps provide affordable housing with existing resources, allows for aging-in-place, builds community and empowers community members. See annual reports for number of clients matched and served.
ADU SLO - Works to educate and inspire people around options for smaller, simple living options that add to our affordable housing stock. New state rules allowing ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) on most single-family residential lots create opportunity for homeowners to become part of the solution by building a new separate living space in their backyard, converting an existing garage to living space, or carving out a separate suite inside the home. Tiny Houses On Wheels (THOWs) in backyards, currently allowed only in SLO City and Arroyo Grande, are part of this mix of small, affordable-by-design dwellings. These spaces create family flexibility and can provide income through long term rental. ADU SLO is working with a regional ADU task force to educate the community and encourage production of these smaller homes in SLO County.
Co-Living Collaborative - Aims to expand housing options through development of affordable, eco-minded shared living created by converting existing commercial spaces such as older motels and bed and breakfast inns to co-living centers with a mix of shared and private spaces. The program has been evaluating potential projects since 2017. In addition to creating needed housing for lower income renters in SLO County, the goal is to create a model for such conversions that can be replicated in other communities. Our newest Co-Living Collaborative project is the Waterman Village, a neighborhood of 20 affordable small homes surrounding a historic adobe in downtown San Luis Obispo, now in development.
Choosing your home share partner is up to you. We'll provide pre-screened applicants who match your preferences. HomeShareSLO abides by the Fair Housing laws and accepts all applicants, regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, the presence of minor children, receipt of public assistance or gender identity. It is your decision regarding who you want to live with.