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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."I'm easy to get along with, but since my husband passed away four years ago, I've never lived with anyone." A handful of homeowners who attended Saturday's meeting were trying to decide if shared housing could work for them.In a classroom at Taborspace community center, 20 strangers arranged a circle of folding chairs.The group of mostly older women, and a few men, filled in their name tags and took their seats."I have been concerned with the amount of land that's being taken up by large houses," she said."What a lot of us are trying to do is figure out what is the right mix of sharing with other people and having our own privacy." Let's Share Housing offers workshops to help homeowners answer those questions and set their expectations and boundaries."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.
First-time visitor Milch started a conversation with Marilyn Chalmers, an older widow like herself, who currently rents the first floor of a duplex.
The morning's facilitator, Michele Fiasca, founded Let's Share Housing in 2009.
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.
Attendees pay a suggested for the in-person gatherings, which offer a place for people to meet without inviting strangers into their homes.
Online at letssharehousing.com, users can fill out a profile for free but pay a fee to initiate contact with a potential housing match.