A partnership between a regional government association and online service that connects people seeking housing with homeowners who have rooms available for rent was announced Thursday.
“Home Share South Bay” will cover a six-month membership to Silvernest services to a limited number of homeowners who qualify due to their low or fixed-income status, or recent loss of income, which puts them at risk of being homeless.
Monthly membership to Silvernest is 5% of monthly rent and only starts after rent is collected. A limited number of potential tenants will also have fees for their background checks covered.
The program is financed through Measure H Innovation Funds, which focus on homelessness in Los Angeles County, according to Colleen Farrell, a senior project manager with the South Bay Cities Council of Governments.
“This program is designed with our South Bay residents in mind, who may be one to two months away from becoming homeless,” said Hawthorne Councilwoman Olivia Valentine, the chair of the Board of Directors of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments.
“Our goal is to prevent homelessness by empowering homeowners — particularly, but not limited to our senior population — to thrive in their own homes, while also helping renters seek affordable housing in the South Bay.”
Officials believe the program will benefit older homeowners who seek companionship and help with daily tasks, as well as want to maintain independence and remain financially solvent on a fixed-income.
Silvernest estimates that homeowners can earn up to $10,000 a year through homesharing, and renters could save up to $9,000 a year compared to market rent rates.
South Bay officials hope the program will help reduce the rate of homelessness in the area, where the unsheltered population is 65% larger than skid row, according to Farrell.
“Overall homelessness rose by 3% in the South Bay and went up by 12% in Los Angeles County over the previous year,” Farrell said.
“The number of people living on South Bay streets, in a tent, or makeshift shelter increased by 8%; 13% of people experiencing homelessness are 62 years of age and older. Many of the South Bay cities have seen an increase in vehicular homelessness.”
More information about Home Share South Bay is available at silvernesthome.com/SouthBay.
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