The Future of Housing is in Community
6 July 2020 - Irene Bantigue

HostHome believes healing begins at the home. Using an online software platform, HostHome seeks to foster public-private partnerships to provide affordable, short-term housing. We connected with Ava Pipitone, HostHome’s Founder & CEO, to learn how their model is supporting individuals testing positive for COVID-19, as well as explore their belief that housing is the basis of healing self and humanity at-large. 

There’s a beautiful flow to how Ava Pipitone manages their multiple projects. For Ava, productivity is intuitive and nonlinear–they focus on doing work that gets them energized. “I’m cultivating myself to constantly stay in a state of heart-centered excitement,” they share.

For Ava, that looks like doing work that involves the intersection of housing, healing, and humanity. They are the Founder & CEO of HostHome, a software platform that fosters public-private partnerships to run affordable, short-term housing programs. 

In recent weeks, the global pandemic presented an opportunity for HostHome to partner with the COVID ALLIANCE, a coalition-building nonprofit focused on bringing together nationwide experts across policy, science, and healthcare. HostHome was enlisted to lead housing efforts and develop a solution for individuals that have tested positive for COVID-19 and are struggling to find housing for proper quarantine. Through this partnership, HostHome has expanded their regional scope beyond Maryland to Texas and California, assisting individuals seeking short-term housing at this critical time. 

The global pandemic has enabled HostHome to iterate and refine its technology platforms, as well as collaborate with other housing-focused organizations within days versus months. Their hope is that the rapid response needed at this time will inform the development of a stronger model, streamlining HostHome’s ability to match people with housing for the future. “My hope is that users can have access to [housing services] that might have taken 2-3 months to gain within current, bureaucratic social service systems,” Ava says.

At the heart of their work is a strong belief that “the future of housing is in community.”

When asked what they see emerging from the global pandemic, Ava emphasizes the shift from individual home ownership to democratized and sustainable living. They also see the definition of family expanding beyond biological to instead include–if not, center–chosen familial connections. Accordingly, Ava sees real estate adjusting to those designs, building assets facing communities and tribes versus the longstanding idea of the singular, nuclear family living in the suburbs. 

Ava believes that housing provides people a safe space to heal. Referencing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Ava adds that when individuals have access to secure housing, we can then move into how we can adorn our bodies and look to biometric data to help heal us, and more.* 

Beyond new ideas around housing, Ava envisions a more introspective and interconnected global community. They say that right now, we’re all having to sit in our caves. “We’re connecting [in a different way], going inwards, and finding each other through ourselves,” they say. And on that note, Ava’s wish for everyone is this: “I hope you’ve reached a point of peace with who you’re looking at.”

*Among other things, Ava is also the Co-Founder of Suyana, a company that creates wearables to “design hope through data and adornment.” Learn more about Suyana’s work and available products here.