Jamie Taylor, PhD, Senior Principal, LeSar Development Consultants

In high-cost housing markets across the country, identifying housing options for very low-income households and people moving out of homelessness is a growing challenge. Shared housing is an expanding and viable solution and offers an immediate option that can effectively meet the needs of all populations at-risk of and experiencing homelessness. LeSar is at the forefront of building community capacity to expand shared housing options in communities across the country.

 Benefits of Shared Housing

Shared housing is found in every community and is defined as two or more unrelated people living in one rental housing unit, and sharing housing costs. For individuals moving out of homelessness, shared housing reduces rent payments, decreases isolation, and increases housing stability. Shared housing also maximizes the use of vacant or single-owner occupied homes with two-or-more bedrooms.

 Shared Housing Project Objectives

LeSar Development Consultants is currently supporting three metropolitan areas, soon to add five more, in their efforts to deploy shared housing as a critical part of their homeless crisis response. With LeSar’s shared housing expertise, these shared housing projects are working to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Establishing shared housing champions and stakeholder networks that immediately expand housing options for people experiencing homelessness
  2. Expanding the uptake of Roommate Matching technology
  3. Identifying ways to use public funds to incentivize, create, and support shared housing
  4. Expanding home-share models for target populations such as veterans, youth, and the elderly
  5. Preventing homelessness and reducing isolation among elderly homeowners by helping them generate income by renting rooms
  6. Joining a knowledge-sharing network of shared housing peer providers across the United States

Shared Housing Toolkit

LDC is developing leadership workgroups and sharing with all sites a 12-module Shared Housing Toolkit that highlights promising practices in shared housing, including these topics:

  • role of intermediary organizations
  • landlord/homeowner engagement strategies
  • roommate matching approaches
  • tenancy agreements
  • funding
  • conflict mediation/housing stabilization
  • new construction that includes shared housing
  • marketing shared housing to client, providers and community

The toolkit will be made available online to support leadership networks across the country to exponentially expand shared housing options for all populations at risk. If you are interested in bringing this Shared Housing Toolkit and training to your community and joining this emerging national knowledge-sharing  movement, contact the LDC Shared Housing Team Lead: Jamie Taylor, PhD jamie@lesardevelopment.com