Atlanta’s PadSplit takes top honors in Inc.’s 2021 Best in Business list

by John Yellig

Atlanta-based shared-housing marketplace PadSplit was named to the Inc. 2021 Best in Business list and took the top honor in the real estate category.

Founded in 2017, PadSplit is a public benefit corporation that uses an Airbnb-style marketplace to provide affordable shared-housing options to lower-income individuals. The company raised more than $100,000 to help participants pay rent, Inc. noted in its announcement.

PadSplit lowers barriers to quality, affordable housing for individuals without requiring a long-term commitment, a credit score or a security deposit, the company said in a press release. So far, PadSplit has created more than 3,000 shared-housing units and housed more than 5,600 individuals in rooms available at 40% to 50% of the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in its markets, which currently include Atlanta; Houston; Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla.; Dallas; Richmond, Va.; Indianapolis; and New Orleans.

“We launched this company four years ago with a hope that we could create opportunities for people who continually face barriers to access,” founder and CEO Atticus LeBlanc said in the release. “Housing costs are going up everywhere, and community workers simply can’t find a place to live. This is a massive, systemic issue that requires more resources, but we’re proud of the impact we’re making at PadSplit, giving people more housing options and helping them to save for their futures.”

Designed specifically for the workforce, PadSplit members include teachers, daycare workers, security guards and restaurant and grocery staff. Each PadSplit includes a private, fully furnished bedroom and shared common areas with utilities and WiFi included. PadSplit said that its backend technology provides a customizable payment schedule so residents can align the timing of payments to their work pay periods.

Inc.’s editors reviewed approximately 2,700 entries for its Best in Business list, basing their 196 choices on the companies’ achievements over the last year instead of quantitative sales or funding criteria.

“What began for us during the pandemic as an effort to showcase companies that were helping the community has grown into a recognition of social, environmental and economic impact,” Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk said in the release. “The companies on this year’s list are changemakers with heart — and they’re pouring the best of their business into the people and communities around them.” 

In addition to the Inc. award, PadSplit has been recognized this year as the PropTech Breakthrough Affordable Housing Solution of the Year, an Inman Innovators finalist, an Atlanta Business Chronicle Pacesetter and Corporate Citizen of the Year, an Atlanta Inno 50 on Fire company, a TiE Atlanta Growth and Impact Awards finalist and a Technology Association of Georgia Top 10 Most Innovative company.

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