Everyone has a housing story to tell, whether we’re young professionals saddled with student loans; a couple or single-parents with young children; or older adults approaching retirement.
Our housing stories may be different, but we all share the desire to live in a safe and affordable home. We spoke with six Oregonians to learn about their housing stories at different stages of life.
"Affording rent should not be that hard."
Arone Andu moved to Portland from Seattle about three years ago, when he took a job working as an AmeriCorps teacher. He considered renting his own apartment, but he couldn’t find anything that fit his budget. So he settled for sharing an apartment. Andu teaches social studies at a high school since completing his AmeriCorps program. But he still has to juggle multiple jobs to afford his shared apartment.
"Disabled people... need housing near transit hubs, MAX stops..."
More than four years ago Allan and Tyanne Wilmath were renters in Southwest Portland. They decided to start house-hunting when their rent went up. The couple had just welcomed their first child, so the timing felt right to start looking for their own home. They picked a home that’s walking distance to bus lines, schools and shopping. But it's still challenging to get around sometimes.
"I don't see any way I'll... get out of apartment living."
Heather Thurber has lived in Aloha for about 20 years. Aloha’s small hometown character with access to the amenities of a big city drew her here. It’s why Thurber bought her first home in Aloha more than 10 years ago. Unfortunately, she lost it during the mortgage crisis.
"Our house is not set up to really age."
John Schuberg bought his house in 1984 when he was a young chef managing a restaurant. He’s grateful he bought his home when he did because he couldn’t afford to buy it today, he says. He and his wife Maggie Skenderian love their home and neighborhood, and the close proximity to transit and shopping. They converted their garage into a guest house, so they could have different options to age in their home.
Correction: This post has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Maggie Skenderian's last name. We regret the error.
Take the next step
Learn. Learn more about Metro's Equitable Housing Initiative and its role in housing.
Read our housing overview:
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Continue the conversation. Talk about housing challenges and solutions among friends and family, at a neighborhood association or place of worship, or write a letter or email to an elected official or local media.
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