PictureCarlyce and Nick.

In September 2020, the Mill Valley City Council approved a collaboration with ​Covia, a Walnut Creek-based nonprofit organization whose “House Mill Valley,” a program that matches residents with more house than they need with people looking for more affordable housing opportunities than Mill Valley currently offers.

The program has already shown some success stories. Take the story of Carlyce and Nick. Carlyce opened his home when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in September. Nick had to return to in-person work and needed an affordable place with a reasonable commute. They bonded over outdoor cooking, barbecue and Nick’s Jack Russell Terrier.

Covia Home Match helps our communities meet three important goals: empowering community members to stay in their chosen homes, combating social isolation and creating affordable places to live by utilizing existing housing stock. 

For decades, home-sharing programs across California have been connecting compatible people to improve their quality of life through shared living. People opening their homes gain income and companionship while people seeking shared homes are able to live affordably in the community where they work or attend school. Most programs are run by nonprofits, and are free or very low cost.

How Home Match Works:

  • Covia’s personalized process and local staff help find the right match for you!
  • They conduct background checks on all participants
  • They connect people based on compatibility
  • They offer on-going support, even after move-in
  • They do not charge a fee for our services

The program is part of a patchwork of city efforts stemming from 2017, when the City Council hosted an affordable housing summit and backed an affordable housing ordinance that includes a 1 percent City fee to be applied to all new housing projects and remodels costing $100,000 or more. City officials say the fee could generate approximately $375,000 annually, with revenue going into an affordable housing trust fund. The options on how to deploy that funding include acquiring properties, building multi-unit projects, renovating existing developments or finding ways to subsidize rental rates for workforce housing.

Home Match has been serving Marin County since 2012. Covia is a nonprofit organization that has been providing housing and services for over 50 years. To learn more call Lita Acosta at (415) 456-9068 or e-mail lacosta@covia.org.