House Sharing Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the House Sharing Program? >
House Sharing is a Santa Clara County program operated by Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County that provides a matching service to help house seekers find affordable rents. We do this by matching house seekers with house providers. Often house providers have underutilized (vacant) rooms in their home they want to rent to others to have added income and companionship.
2. WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF HOUSE SHARING? >
The benefits to both house seekers and house providers include, but are not limited to, increased security, companionship, continued independence and self-sufficiency and a chance to help others. Additionally, for house seekers the program offers an increased availability of affordably priced housing and for house providers the program provides additional income to assist with expenses.
3. HOW CAN I BE REFFERED? >
You can contact Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County directly by calling the House Sharing Program number at 408-325-5134 and requesting a phone screen to see if you qualify for the program. Or, you can CLICK HERE and fill out an inquiry form. Additionally, we will have paper handouts at our outreach events where you can fill out the information by hand and return to a house sharing staff member.
4. WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE HOUSE SHARING PROGRAM? >
To qualify as a House Provider, you will need the following:
- Home/Apartment must be in Santa Clara County,
- Home/Apartment must have at least one private bedroom available,
- Must be able to provide proof of ownership or landlord approval to sublease,
- Must pass a criminal background check and your property must pass a home inspection.
To qualify as a House Seeker, you will need the following:
- Steady income that does not exceed 80% of the area’s median income,
- Must have the ability to pay an estimated $750-$1,750 per month in rent.
- Must pass a criminal background check and provide three professional references.
5. IS THERE AN APPLICATION FEE? >
No. There is no cost for the program and there is no application fee.
6. CAN I USE MY SECTION 8 VOUCHER TO RENT A ROOM? >
Section 8 Housing Programs in Santa Clara County are separate from House Sharing. At this time you may not use your Section 8 Voucher when being matched with a house provider.
7. DOES THE HOUSE SHARING PROGRAM PROVIDE RENTAL ASSISTANCE? >
The House Sharing Program is a matching service and does not provide a rental subsidy or assistance. However, staff may be able to assist individuals with appropriate referrals and resources.
8. CAN THE HOUSE SHARING PROGRAM HELP ME FIND EMERGENCY HOUSING? >
Unfortunately the House Sharing Program is not an emergency housing service. We can assist you in looking for a private room to rent in someone else’s home, but a house seeker should have some form of suitable, temporary housing while on the waiting list to be matched.
9. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BE MATCHED? >
It is anticipated that it will take a Housing Provider a minimum of 3 weeks to go through the screening process (application, background check, in-person interview, reference check, house inspection). For a Housing Seeker, however, it may take longer. After being screened (minimum 3 week process) the seeker is placed on a waiting list for available opportunities. Once all parties are properly screened, participants can expect to be matched within one to six weeks depending upon available housing and proper match criteria.
10. IS HOUSE SHARING SAFE? >
The program is designed with your security in mind. Both House Seekers and House Providers must pass a criminal background and reference check before being matched with anyone for a roommate or housemate situation. Additionally, after a successful match is made, House Sharing Program staff will have monthly follow-ups with each participant in the program to discuss any issues with the new living arrangement.