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Central Coast non-profit offers solutions for housing relief during pandemic

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 22:29:31-05

Central Coast non-profit, Smart Share Housing Solutions, is providing some community members housing relief through a new task exchange program started this month.

According to Anne Wyatt, Housing Policy Advisor for Smart Share Housing Solutions, one branch of their non-profit named "HomeShareSLO" has created a new reduced-rent-with-task-exchange program.

She says they did this in an effort "to serve more clients in SLO County, particularly clients who are in need of affordable housing for less than $725 a month."

The service finds people looking for assistance at their homes and pairs them with others seeking housing in the community.

"The task exchange starting now is a direct result of the pandemic and the higher level of need people have for housing," Wyatt says.

The new task share program allows renters to help with minor jobs around the house such as gardening, pet care, meal preparation, and technology assistance in exchange for rent.

Wyatt says that even coming up with the average home share rent of $725 a month is "getting tricky" for many people in the program.

"The exchange allows for even an extremely low-income SLO resident to pay under 30% of their income for rent," she says.

Board Chairman of Smart Share Housing Solutions Marianne Kennedy says it can be difficult for senior women who are trying to live on the average Social Security check at around $900 a month.

"There's no way you can live on that... but if they have a house and a room, then they have an asset," she says.

HomeShareSLO's programs consist of the following: for rent only (avg $725/mo), rent plus task exchange (8 hrs + $400-500/mo), or full task exchange (15 hrs/wk + $150/util).

Renters can work between 1-15 hours a week depending on their agreement with home providers.

You can call their office if you're interested in participating as a housing seeker or home provider at (805) 215-5474 or visit their website.