News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Of a ceratin age: The benefits of sharing

There is a current public service announcement being shown on TV, sponsored by the nonprofit program Home Share Oregon whose mission is “to prevent housing instability, foreclosure, and homelessness through home sharing.”

Services include rental listing service, roommate matching, secure message and background screens, and lease generator and rent-payment processing. For a single, older man or woman, or a couple, with a more than big enough house, house sharing could provide a great way to avoid loneliness and social isolation, create a new friendship, and provide a new stream of income.

Such an arrangement could allow an older resident to stay in their home longer by having a roommate who could help with chores and maintenance and ensure that the homeowner is not alone in case of an emergency.

For the person seeking a place to live, they can move into an established home, possibly not needing a lot of furniture and other household accoutrements, while paying less than full rent for an apartment.

Over the years, I have had a variety of family and friends live with me for various lengths of time and it has always been a positive experience. While living in Bellevue, Washington, I had a woman from Argentina live with me for over a year. We met in a training program in California, and she was working on her master’s degree, getting her Green Card, and hoping to stay in the U.S. That was a fun time and resulted in a longtime friendship. I had a great roommate to talk and laugh with and a knowledgeable, multilingual traveling companion who broadened my world by sharing her culture with me.

By opening your home to someone you are compatible with, you can have someone to share the housekeeping and maintenance chores while receiving additional income. I know I worked on smoothing some of my own rough edges with someone else to bump up against.

With the continuing shortage of affordable housing in Central Oregon, and specifically in Sisters, if you have room, you might consider sharing your home with someone facing housing insecurity, social isolation, foreclosure, or an uncertain tomorrow.

In our changing world, with rising prices and shortages of all kinds, perhaps returning to a model of shared housing, which is common in many other countries, makes a lot of sense, offering numerous benefits to all involved.

Home Share Oregon provides assistance with creating a home-sharing profile, has tools for creating alternative rental agreements, and can help match compatible homeowners and renters/roommates. They can also provide a certain level of security not available with running an ad in the classifieds.

For more information, go to the Home Sharing Oregon’s website,


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