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Renting Rooms To The Unhoused In The South Bay

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City officials in the South Bay are working to help homeless people rent rooms from homeowners, in an attempt to assist both groups keep roofs over their heads.

Many seniors in the area living on fixed incomes are finding it difficult to keep up their mortgage payments. Meanwhile, the South Bay’s homeless population is growing, and may continue to get larger as the pandemic wears on.

To those ends, the South Bay Cities Council of Governments is working with Silvernest, an online platform, to help all homeowners – but especially seniors – keep up their mortgage payment by renting out rooms. They are targeting potential tenants who are employed, but can’t afford a place on their own.

Homeless Services coordinator Grace Farwell said Silvernest will be offered free to homeowners for six months. They and renters can create profiles on the Silvernest website to seek out a housemate.

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“Do they allow pets? What about smoking, you know, it’s almost like online dating, but it’s online, house matching,” Farwell said.

The online platform also provides insurance, standard rental agreements and free optional background checks on renters. If successful, the program could be duplicated elsewhere in L.A. County.