Gold Star Shared Housing
Lois Snell, USOAC Board Leader founded Gold Star Shared Housing. It's Mission to improve the quality of life and economic status for low-income seniors and veterans by creating a pathway to affordable housing in a shared living arrangement and include resources and counseling to help ensure an improved economic condition.
For more information, please contact:
Tanya Washington, Program Assistant (510) 729-0852
Gold Star Senior Shared Housing Contact Number
Affordable housing in Alameda County reached an all-time high and became a crisis in the early 2000s. Rents and housing prices began to spiral out of control due to lack of supply and demand, which helped to widen the gap between those who could afford to live here and those who could not.
The Covid-19 pandemic only exacerbated the already strained housing crisis. Today, affordable housing is a senior crisis. By 2030 over 328,000 seniors 65+ will live in Alameda County putting more low-income seniors and veterans at risk of displacement.
During 2022 the lack of affordable housing and reduced resources challenged Gold Star’s capacity and sustainability dramatically. Today, we still struggle with the ongoing challenge of increased demand for housing without an increase in the ability to provide the housing needed, primarily due to increased rent demands by homeowners and lack of income by the tenants. This issue alone remains an area of concern.
Shared housing can be a viable option in the housing crisis. Gold Star Shared Housing Mission Gold Star’s mission is to provide viable solutions for safe, affordable, decent housing for low-income seniors, veterans and disabled persons in a shared living arrangement and offer a pathway to self-employment through reskilling and work development programs that can lead to entrepreneurship opportunities and increased income.
Our Services Gold Star’s primary focus is on options and opportunities which help ease the financial burden of seniors, low-income homeowners, low-income tenants, and veterans and create housing solutions that could become a win-win for both parties. Gold Star can assist with garage conversions, upgrading a spare bedroom, and connections to assist with development of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). Work development programs can help increase income. We believe these opportunities could be beneficial for both a lowincome homeowner and a low-income tenant.
2022 Accomplishments Gold Star’s outreach program remained constant during 2022 with approximately 25-30 new seniors each month. Although Covid-19 loomed heavily, we were able to place three men in housing during 2022.
Regretfully, at year end there were approximately 33 tenants still on our waiting list and 7 host properties which were out of their price range. (Host properties today ask $1,200 to $1,500 per month for a single room with a shared bath. Many contacts (75 to 80 percent) via our website or personal referral could not be helped due to income constraints. These tenants are generally referred out to other organizations such as Front Porch, Alameda Housing Authority, Social Services and Bay Area Housing, etc. depending on their needs.
During 2022 Gold Star established partnerships with Front Porch (a housing organization), Unite Us (a local business referral service) and California Alliance of Retired Americans (CARA). Pam Hall of the Oakland Housing & Community Development remains an active affiliate and shares information from the City of Oakland Housing and Community Development.
To improve operations Gold Star has, with support from Tanya Washington, begun utilizing more social media and Facebook for marketing and outreach. Additionally, we have added new services such as ADU referrals, a room-boosting service, and reskilling for self-employment.