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Seniors often "have more house than they can upkeep." Metro Home Share provides background, criminal and rental history checks for home providers and home seekers."Once they move in together, we offer case management support for the next two years in the form of mediation services if there are issues that come up," Burkey said.She opens the meeting with the warm, calm voice of a counselor. For the past few years, Fiasca has hosted twice monthly meetups on the west and east sides of Portland for prospective housemates.
"We are targeting outreach to the senior population because often they're the ones who are struggling on fixed incomes and are really affected by the housing crisis," said program manager Pauline Burkey.Now that their children are grown, they're considering renovating their house in a way that would allow for a rental space."I have been concerned with the amount of land that's being taken up by large houses," she said."We were all evicted and I didn't want to live in senior housing," said one woman, who described herself as a long-time vegan who likes to meditate.Another received a no-cause eviction and needs a place by October. Susan Milch is seeking a roommate because rent for her two-bedroom apartment has "skyrocketed." "This is brand new to me," she said.
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Saturday's attendees were motivated by a combination of interests: communal living and companionship, leaving a smaller environmental footprint, and – as all Portland renters know – financial worries.