Home sharing is all about people helping each other. A home owner shares their home with a screened and compatible long-term renter, benefiting both parties. The homeowner receives additional income to help with property taxes or mortgage payments, companionship, possibly help with chores or transportation, while the renter has a safe and affordable place to live with compatible person.
Update January 2019: Faith Partners for Housing is in discussions with Metro HomeShare, run by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, to explore the possibility of expanding their Portland home sharing program into Clark County.
Metro HomeShare has a long and respected history of helping home owners and renters who are struggling with high rents to help one another. Homeowners and potential renters apply separately to HomeShare, which suggests possible matches. Background checks, interviews, and screening are done to ensure the safety of both parties. The homeowner and potential renter make the final decision on whether they are compatible and can live together. The parties draw up their own personalized agreement with assistance from Metro HomeShare staff. Sometimes these agreements exchange services, such as gardening or transportation to the doctor, for rent payments
In 2017 Jerry was living in a motel and was quickly running out of options when his daughter called Metro HomeShare. He was introduced to Frank who was living alone in North Portland. They met and found they had a lot in common. They decided to move forward with living together and Metro HomeShare helped them draw up a rental contract.
Through home sharing, clients not only gain stable housing but also the opportunity to build community with their housemate and improve their health. Seniors, for example, suffer from depression at a rate three times higher than that of the general population, due to the fact that over 60 percent of seniors live alone.
After a match is made, Metro HomeShare conducts regular check-ins to ensure everyone is satisfied with their living arrangement. At the 60-day check-in Jerry and Frank were doing well. The men had grown closer as friends and had even made plans to start a vegetable garden in the backyard to promote healthier eating habits. Jerry’s daughter called Metro HomeShare to say, “Before we found Metro HomeShare, Dad was in a motel and didn’t know what to do. He was stressed and frustrated. The family has seen a 180 -degree turnaround in him, and for that we are so thankful.”
The biggest need for the program is to find more Home Providers. If the program grows into Clark County, you might consider becoming a Home Provider if: 1) you are cost-burdened by increased taxes or cost of living and would be open to the idea of sharing your home with someone who is compatible with you, 2) an empty nester or living alone who could benefit from companionship or, 3) finding it difficult to complete day-to-day tasks such as yardwork, pet care, grocery shopping and would benefit from additional support.
If you’d like to help this vision become a reality, contact Denny Scott. See Contact Us page for details.