Find Your Home

Find an affordable home in the community you love with Home Match.

Eligibility

As someone who is seeking an available room through Home Match (“home seeker”), you must:

● Be 18 years of age or older
● Currently live, work, or study in the Home Match county/counties to which you apply: Contra Costa, Alameda (Cities of Fremont, Newark, Union City only), Marin, Monterey, or San Francisco,
● Earn no more than 120% of the Area Median Income (varies by county, ranging from $81,000 in Monterey County to ~$107,000 in Bay Area counties for a 1-person household in 2020)
● Complete our Home Seeker Application (San Francisco participants please use this version),  which can be downloaded here or mailed to your address, by request, and
● Pass a criminal & tenant history background check and provide references.

For program requirements regarding criminal, financial, and tenant histories, please refer to our Eligibility Policy, or contact us directly with any questions.

How It Works                                   

1. Complete Your Application
Thank you for your interest in Home Match! The first step is to complete our Home Seeker Application (20-30 min.). Please contact us with any questions, or to request our paperwork by mail.

2. Meet Our Staff
Contact us once your paperwork is complete to schedule an appointment. At this time we will complete required screenings (photo ID and proof of income; see FAQ for more details). Due to ongoing precautions regarding COVID-19, appointments are currently offered virtually, only.

3. Find Your Match
Staff will notify you of any potential match opportunities that fit your interests, based on factors such as budget, location, and lifestyle. Get to know your match by phone and in-person, then swap references.

4. Sign Your Agreement
Staff moderate a discussion for you and your match using our Living Together Agreement. Our home-sharing specific template includes a guided conversation about the details of daily shared living, and communication best practices.

5. Stay In Touch
Staff check in around move-in day, around the end of the first month, then every few months as needed. You are welcome to contact us with any questions or mediation needs.

FAQ

Can I apply to multiple Home Match program locations?
Yes. If you currently live, work, or study in multiple areas (ex: you live in Contra Costa County and work in San Francisco), then you may be eligible to seek housing in multiple Home Match program locations.

How long does it take to find a match?
Because matches are based on compatibility rather than a lottery or waitlist, home seekers can either be matched very quickly (within a few weeks), or it can take months for the right fit and the right timing to come along. Given this, Home Match is unfortunately not usually able to meet immediate or emergency housing needs.

What are the required screenings?
During your appointment, staff will review your Home Seeker Application as well as verify your photo ID (such as California ID or Driver’s License) and income. Proof of income may include a recent Tax Return, paystubs representative of the past three months, recent documentation of public benefits, and/or Self-Employment Verification Form. If you have a potential match opportunity, staff will also collect your authorization for a background check screening.

Does the background check screening impact my credit score?
No. It is a soft check that pulls criminal history over the past seven years, as well as tenant history such as bankruptcies, liens, judgements, evictions, etc. There is no cost to the participant.

How much are rents, on average?
Rents often range from $700-$1,300, but can go higher in some cities. This varies based on location, amenities, service exchange, and other factors. For a match involving a service exchange, rents tend to be $800 or below.

Is there a fee to participate?
There is no cost to participate in Home Match! 

Can I apply as a family, couple, or group of roommates?
Yes; however, most home providers are looking for just one individual to share their home, so opportunities for multi-person groups seeking housing together tend to be limited. It just depends on our availability at a given time. All applicants, exempting children under the age of 18, should complete an individual application and screening.

What type of agreement is used?
Home Match offers an agreement template specific to home-sharing, called the Living Together Agreement (LTA). The LTA includes Terms & Conditions, as well as a staff-facilitated discussion about the arrangements of sharing a home, day-to-day, and communication best-practices. Many participants opt for a month-to-month agreement.

What is a service exchange?
A service exchange is an optional arrangement in which a home seeker helps a home provider with household activities—such as cooking meals, running errands, or walking the dog—in exchange for a further reduced rent. Home Match does not arrange any hands-on, personal, or medical care; as such, Home Match is not an alternative to in-home care.