In a Nutshell: Finding affordable housing is not an easy task, particularly for people in low-income brackets living in or near large cities. That’s why PadSplit is aiming to solve the affordable housing crisis one room at a time. PadSplit connects members to safe, affordable rental housing. Renters gain access to a safe, secure room with a weekly payment that includes utilities and wifi. PadSplit renters also gain the peace of mind that comes with having your own space. Some people have used the platform to pay down debt while others have used it to save up money for future projects. The platform is advantageous for property owners as well. PadSplit facilitates all member communications, handles payments, and can help reduce vacancies and resident turnover costs.
When Robert moved to Atlanta to be closer to his sister, he did not anticipate the challenges that lay ahead when it came to housing. Although he was working as a fast food manager and hoping to establish a career, Robert could not find affordable housing in his new city, and he eventually became homeless.
Robert continued to work and continued searching for housing. He eventually found PadSplit after running into multiple dead-end housing leads on websites such as Craigslist, including living with one particularly noisy and inconsiderate roommate.
Through PadSplit, Robert was able to find a quiet, clean, and affordable room to rent, which gave him the solid foundation he was looking for in Atlanta.
“PadSplit was real fast and real convenient,” Robert writes on the PadSplit website. “It really was the easiest time coming back up from losing everything.”
PadSplit was founded in 2017 with a mission to leverage housing as a vehicle for financial independence for low-income workers in the U.S. Since then, the company has helped many people like Robert gain stability, get out of debt, or avoid accruing more debt through its innovative platform.
On the other side of its platform are the property owners and managers, said PadSplit’s Chief Growth Officer Frank Furman. He said PadSplit owners run the gamut from retirees and single parents looking to make some extra cash on the side to institutional buyers who are looking for returns for their investors.
“Our goal with owners is to set up a structure such that they’re incentivized to do the right things and respond to maintenance tickets the way they would in their own homes,” Furman said.
We recently spoke with Furman to learn more about PadSplit, its mission to facilitate affordable housing, and how it works for renters and property owners.
PadSplit’s Philosophy is that Affordable Housing Should be Available to Everyone
“PadSplit believes that affordable housing should exist for everyone, and shouldn’t be a barrier to building your life,” according to the company website. “That’s why we’re connecting community members to high-quality homes, without the high price tag.”
Furman explained that the model isn’t dissimilar to those of companies such as Airbnb, although the mission and goals are different.
PadSplit is a membership program that helps people find safe, affordable rooms for rent.
“For a fixed weekly payment, you get a furnished private room, utilities, internet access, and laundry facilities,” according to the company.
Furman said that both renters and property owners or hosts must pass the application process, which helps to ensure that PadSplit facilitates safe and secure living situations for all involved. The company also facilitates the relationships between parties and manages all the paperwork, including payment processing and background checks.
“The number one priority is just helping people to save money,” Furman said. “And our view is that we want people to be with us as long as we’re the best option for them. So, in some cases, that may be years or it may be three months.”
He said that PadSplit estimates it saves its tenants on average about $500 per month on costs like rent, utilities, and transportation.
For many people, that kind of money can go a long way toward paying down debt or funding other projects. Not to mention the security and comfort that comes with having your own living space, and paying for things like rent, wifi, and laundry all in one easy payment.
How the Platform Benefits Renters and Property Owners
Many of the benefits that PadSplit offers are clear when it comes to renters looking for secure and affordable housing. But there are other less obvious benefits as well.
One is that PadSplit renters are required to pay a one-time fee upfront and pay for one week’s rent in advance, as opposed to having to come up with a security deposit, first, and last month rent payments.
“And, for a lot of low-income rentals, they require the first two months up front, so that’s three months up front which means you need to have maybe three grand in savings,” Furman said. “That’s a high bar for a lot of folks.”
Additionally, renting through PadSplit can help people establish or rehabilitate their credit scores. PadSplit partners with a company that reports credit data to the three credit bureaus.
“Our members increase their credit scores by an average of about 100 points,” Furman said. “They can build their credit really fast. We have folks who basically have no credit history and they move in with us, and then, five months later they’ve got 25 housing payments in the books.”
PadSplit renters also benefit from the location of homes. The company understands the needs of its renters, who often work low-income jobs and may not have reliable transportation. That’s why many PadSplit homes are located near main public transportation hubs.
Furman said people can’t be expected to have to take three buses over the course of a three-hour commute to get to their jobs in the city. That’s also why the company is focusing its expansion efforts around other urban areas in the country.
PadSplit is currently available in the Atlanta area, and Furman said the company has plans to begin operations in Houston very soon. On the horizon are plans to establish in urban areas in Florida, North and South Carolina, and certain Midwest states.
Of course, PadSplit owners reap benefits as well.
“From listing your spare bedroom to investment properties, PadSplit allows you to make more money while strengthening your community,” according to the company.
By creating rooms from unused space, PadSplit has helped property owners increase their net income by more than 60%.
Then there’s the convenience and reduced stress that comes with being a PadSplit member.
“We fill your property with trustworthy, background-checked PadSplit members — decreasing vacancy, reducing resident turnover costs, and providing you with a more steady stream of income,” according to the company.
And PadSplit handles all membership communications including weekly bill collection, which means owners need not worry about scheduling showings, fielding calls, or managing payments.
A Commitment to Safety and Satisfied Customers
Seeking housing through Craigslist postings or other online resources can lead to uncomfortable and even unsafe living situations. But PadSplit wants its members to know they are living among trustworthy people.
“No wildcards,” according to the website. All PadSplit members are pre-screened and must pass background checks.
With security in place and benefits for both renters and owners, PadSplit has received positive feedback from many of its members over the past three years.
People like Robert used PadSplit to get a fresh start. Other members have used PadSplit to pay down debt, save money for future endeavors, or to secure affordable housing while they pursue their education.
Some PadSplit members have even used the platform as a way to find their muse.
PadSplit member Mariah grew up in an artistic household and carried her passion for creativity into adulthood. But living in Kennesaw, Georgia, didn’t give Mariah the same creative energy she picked up in Atlanta.
“I’m always so inspired when I come to the city. I’m a writer and do a lot of art stuff,” Mariah writes on the PadSplit website. “Every time I would come to the city on the weekend, I would go back home and write better. I would just come back with so much energy.”
Eventually, Mariah learned about PadSplit and was able to move into a room in the heart of Atlanta and live affordably while tapping into her creative spirit.
“Mariah has manifested her ideal life in Atlanta, and she’s having a positive impact on the world around her. We are grateful to be a part of it,” according to PadSplit.
Whether you’re starting fresh like Robert or continuing your journey like Mariah, PadSplit is there to provide safe, clean, affordable housing.