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Affordable Housing in Oregon Expanded Almost Overnight with Homesharing

Portland, OR

Homesharing in Oregon is providing affordable housing more quickly and much less expensively than traditional methods. Building 3K units of affordable housing in Portland Metro will cost an estimated $1billion. This program's goal to house 1,000 people in the first 18 months will cost less than $750K.

Topics Covered

Civic Technology
Economic Inequality
Housing & Affordable Housing


Initial: Zero Upfront Cost



Public Private Partnership

Project Status

Operational since 2022

Problem Addressed

Housing insecurity is a long-standing issue in Oregon, and the coronavirus pandemic has only made it worse.

More than 450,000 Oregonians have filed for unemployment since March 2020. Seniors, communities of color and students are among the hardest hit and are experiencing the fastest-growing rates of homelessness.

Building more units of affordable housing is extremely expensive - it’s estimated that building 3K units of affordable housing in Portland Metro will cost an estimated $1billion, for example - and can take several years before those units are ready to be lived in.

Home Share Oregon, a nonprofit agency focused on housing issues, and Silvernest, an online homesharing platform, knew that there was an opportunity to take a new approach to address the housing crisis at scale.

Solutions Used

Home Share Oregon (HSO), a unique collaboration between nonprofit, for-profit and government agencies, is using Silvernest's online homesharing platform to address this housing crisis at scale.

Silvernest technology provides roommate compatibility matching, background checks, secure in-app messaging, a lease creator, rent auto-payments and insurance coverage. As a trusted partner, Silvernest provides the proven technology platform and go-to-market expertise that enables Home Share Oregon to efficiently implement a scalable solution designed to serve the growing needs of their community.

Problems addressed include:

Preventing foreclosure

Reducing social isolation and loneliness

Creating affordable housing options

Combating displacement

Creating workforce housing options



The estimated 1 million empty rooms in Oregon can now be immediately used to provide affordable housing options and leveraged to generate income for homeowners.


Building 3,000 units of affordable housing in Portland Metro will cost an estimated $1billion. This program's goal to house 1,000 people in the first 18 months will cost less than $750K.


Homeowners make $10K or more annually on average. That supplemental income can enable seniors to stay in their homes and age in place.

Lessons Learned


By partnering with a local nonprofit, Silvernest is able to assist homeowners and renters who may need additional assistance or support during the homesharing process.


The benefits of homesharing go beyond finances and housing. By pairing compatible people for co-living, it also reduces the health risks associated with social isolation and loneliness.


Homesharing can also help provide housing for people impacted by natural disasters, such as the Oregon fires.

Something Unique

This partnership combines technology, local nonprofit expertise and funding from a variety of sources to provide an immediate, affordable and scalable solution to address housing insecurity.

Who Should Consider

While Silvernest services are implemented by the nonprofit Home Share Oregon for this program, Silvernest also engages directly with local governments for housing affordability and stability initiatives.

Last Updated

Sep 16th, 2020

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