It’s true what they say about how the best ideas come from necessity.
In 2017, the idea behind PadSplit came to our founder, Atticus LeBlanc, from two tenants who lived next door to a rental home he owned. The tenants, Otis and Mitch, were in a bind when their landlord had to foreclose on the property, and so they asked Atticus to consider renting rooms to them in his house, but on a weekly basis.
Atticus had gotten to know Otis and Mitch over the years, and his house was vacant at the time, so he said yes. Even then, he knew renters like Otis and Mitch didn’t have many options. He quickly saw how this model could create a lot more housing supply. The shared house was more profitable than traditional rentals, and it was providing housing to people who needed to be close to their jobs. But there was just one big catch. It would be too hard to scale without significant technology.
This is how PadSplit — and our team — came to be. And now, four years after our official founding, we are celebrating today that PadSplit is being recognized as the Affordable Housing Solution of the Year by the PropTech Breakthrough Awards.
In the early days, we accepted paper applications from prospective Members and collected payments in-person. (We have since built out a robust product that helps Members get approved within minutes).
Since then, we’ve created more than 2,000 units of affordable housing, helping more than 4,200 individuals find a high-quality and affordable place to live. PadSplits are far more accessible than traditional apartments because we don’t require a minimum credit score, security deposit, or long-term commitment. Our average room costs only 40-50 percent of the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in our markets, but includes furnishings, utilities, wifi, laundry, credit-reporting, and access to telemedicine.
We’re proud of this honor because it recognizes our team’s hard work in building a completely new approach for shared-housing that aligns incentives between cities, nonprofits, and property owners, all without direct public subsidy, and all while providing safe and affordable housing for working-class individuals.
That said, it’s actually not really about PadSplit at all.
At our core PadSplit aims to create universal access to opportunity for anyone in search of one. We believe that affordable housing forms the basis of that opportunity. The human need for shelter is not only a basic need, it’s also the most expensive segment of a typical budget. As such, access to housing that’s affordable provides a foundation for all other opportunities.
The two keys in our logo remind us that with each key we provide to a Member, we are unlocking new opportunities, and that all of the 4,000+ “keys” represent an individual story. We are proud of these stories: Keosha who saved enough to purchase her own home; Gregory who used his savings to open a studio for his business, Deneece who found community with her PadMates. Felicia who purchased a car.
It’s been a wild four years. Our team has grown to more than 50 employees who help onboard Hosts in new markets across the country and provide more than 2,000 affordable units for the people who serve our communities.
And we’re only just getting started — one room at a time.
P.S. We’re hiring!