The South Bay Cities Council of Governments’ (SBCCOG) Home Share South Bay pilot program launched in October 2020. The program matches home providers who have extra space in their homes with people looking for more affordable housing opportunities in the South Bay. Home seekers may include those on the verge of homelessness or those very recently homeless.

There are many reasons why someone may consider the Home Share South Bay program, from providing extra income to companionship to help around the house or the opportunity to assist others in need of more affordable housing.

The SBCCOG and its partner, Silvernest, have prepared some helpful hints to assist in the process of preparing a home to share with a potential housemate.

  1. Assess the room to rent. Take a look at the space. Is it large enough for someone to live in? Is there a closet or room for shelves and a dresser? Would you want to keep your furniture, or are you open to your housemate bringing in their own furniture?
  2. Determine what areas to designate as shared space and which areas are private. Think about a space through the eyes of your housemate. Is there a place to relax and watch TV? Is there an area to hang coats and shoes when coming in the door? Determine the areas to share, the space for your housemate, and the areas that are private for you. Establishing and communicating clear spatial boundaries up front will set the home provider and the tenant up for success.
  3. Determine if the kitchen is to be shared. Will the kitchen be shared? Is there a small bar area that can double as a secondary kitchen? The kitchen is often the center of the home, and it is important to think through preferences prior to someone moving in. If the kitchen is to be shared, think about making space for a housemate to put their food in the refrigerator, as well as cupboard space for non-perishable food, and a cupboard for their own cups, plates, etc. Making room for a new housemate can double as a good exercise in doing some “spring cleaning.”

In summary, planning ahead and setting expectations will help a home provider and new housemate adjust to one another. Sharing a home is very intimate and personal, and going into it with a positive attitude and good intentions goes a long way to making it a successful experience.

For more ideas in making your home shareable or to learn more about Home Share South Bay, please contact Laurie Jacobs, laurie@southbaycities.org.