SmartShare Housing Solutions--creating housing solutions by connecting people and homes
SmartShare Housing Solutions Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 9 am to 6 pm 805-215-5474
SmartShare Housing Solutions, a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, develops innovative housing solutions that add to the stock of attainable, sustainable housing. We are a 501(c)(3) public benefit non-profit corporation. Our Federal I.D. number is EIN# 82-3151265. SmartShare Housing Solutions is a member of the National Shared Housing Resource Center and currently operates three programs.
- HomeShareSLO--a facilitated housemate-matching program serving mostly lower-income seniors
- ADU SLO--a one-stop-shop to assist homeowners in designing, permitting, constructing and finding tenants for accessory dwelling units with affordable rents
- Tiny House Consulting--helping the community understand and implement the new rules allowing tiny homes on wheels in shared backyards
- Co-Living Collaborative--seeks to explore ownership opportunities to provide deed-restricted affordable, sustainability focused, community-centered housing
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. Since launching in 2017, the program has facilitated 63 matches between clients, providing housing, income and security for 120 clients.
Tiny House Consulting 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 homes on wheels in backyards, currently allowed only in SLO City, are part of this mix of small, affordable-by-design dwellings. These spaces create family flexibility and can provide income through long term rental. Tiny House Consulting is working with a regional ADU task force to educate the community and encourage production of these smaller homes in SLO County. We are also developing a one-stop ADU shop to take homeowners from planning and design through to construction and tenant move-in. More details of this new program coming soon!
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.
How We Got Here
Recognizing that there are more housing solutions available than people commonly think, the non-profit SmartShare 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: https://nationalsharedhousing.org/ )
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, SmartShare Housing Solutions achieved independent non-profit status, continuing to use the name HomeShareSLO.
In 2019, in addition to the initial HomeShareSLO program, SmartShare added two new housing programs to support safe, affordable, sustainable housing in the County of San Luis Obispo: Tiny House Consulting 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.
As of 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.
The approximately 63 homeshare matches facilitated through the HomeShareSLO program have brought direct financial benefit to providers in income rental and cost savings for seekers of almost $1M since inception--an approximate six-fold return on investment--and growing!
New projects in 2021 include a Reduced Rent Task Exchange homeshare option, continued work advocating for affordable ADU production and an exciting project for infill housing.
The SmartShare 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.
Who is SmartShare Housing Solutions?
Our volunteer board members and three 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.
SmartShare Housing Solutions Board of Directors
Ms. Kennedy has over 30 years of experience working with community non-profit groups. Recognizing the need for affordable housing for vulnerable populations, she believes homesharing can be part of the solution.
Joanna's a Property Management Specialist for Family Care Network, managing properties for youth aging out of the foster care system and formerly homeless families. She has many years of working to create and support affordable housing from both the non-profit and government sector. "I am passionate about the need for affordable housing as well as the need to maximize our use of all the resources available. HomeShare is the perfect marriage of those two."
Lisa Gonzalez, EA, MBA
Lisa Gonzalez is a professional accountant and an IRS enrolled agent. She handles the books for several local nonprofits and has served on the boards as well. Lisa's commitment to helping nonprofits utilize best financial practices is a great asset to our community.
Sharon has a legal background and currently volunteers with the History Center and as a tutor with Literacy with Life. Her experience sharing housing with seniors in New York City gives her valuable perspective on the challenges and benefits of homesharing.
Grace Crittenden, MD
Dr. Grace Crittenden is an internist in San Luis Obispo. Dr. Crittenden has many senior clients and sees isolation as a contributor to poor health outcomes and believes homeshare can be a solution.
Marcia brings many years of success in the profit and non-profit arena as a small business owner, fundraiser and teacher. She is enjoying her retirement years as an active volunteer and launching Laughter Wellness awareness throughout our county.
As Smart Share's previous Executive Director and Operations Director, Celeste brings a wealth of organizational and program knowledge to the board. Her new position with the Casita Coalition, a statewide group that encourages small housing forms, will foster new connections for Smart Share to join the broader conversations, statewide and nationally, around ADUs of all kinds.
Smart Share Housing Solutions Administrative Team
Anne is a housing policy planning consultant and frequent contributor to the national magazine Planning, Vice Chair of the San Luis Obispo County Commission on Aging, National Shared Housing Resource Center board member, and a former County Planning Commissioner.
Shona has over 25 years of experience working in non-profit housing and property management. She has a passion for helping the underserved and creating housing for those in need. She's written and administered grants for housing at the local, state and federal levels. She served as the Co-Chair on the Supportive Housing Consortium for many years.
Interested in helping us bring housing solutions to SLO County?
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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.