San Mateo County home sharing program offers critical support amid COVID-19

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As the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies the need for affordable housing for economically struggling residents, local homeowners have an opportunity to be part of the solution.

HIP Housing, a nonprofit, affordable housing organization in San Mateo County, is encouraging homeowners to consider renting a room to people needing affordable housing at this critical time.

HIP Housing provides affordable housing to 1,400 County residents annually through three programs: home sharing, which matches people needing housing to residents with rooms or accessory dwelling units, self-sufficiency, which provides subsidized rent to low-income parents or emancipated foster youth while they complete an education or job training program, and property development, which houses people at HIP Housing-owned properties.

In Redwood City last year, HIP Housing had 86 participants in the home sharing program, 17 families participating in its self sufficiency program, and another 80 people housed in seven affordable housing properties the nonprofit owns and operates in the city, according to Executive Director Kate Comfort Harr.

Since 1979, over 65,000 people have been served by HIP Housing’s home sharing program. As part of the program, the nonprofit assists by interviewing and screening applicants, providing a personal housing coordinator, conducting background searches, facilitating a living together agreement, providing referrals to community resources and following-up support. Home seekers must live, work or attend school in San Mateo County.

At Monday’s Redwood City council meeting, Harr thanked the city for supporting and promoting the nonprofit programs, announced the release of HIP Housing’s new 2021 calendar, and noted the program’s importance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

” When people are housed, they have a much better chance of remaining healthy, because housing and health are very much connected,” Harr said.

If you have a room to rent in your home, contact HIP Housing at (650) 999-6450 or visit its website here.

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