Video clip: Tyrone Poole talks private sector solutions to the affordable housing crisis

Tyrone Poole

A Portland entrepreneur discusses his idea for raising capital to fund affordable housing. 

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Tyrone Poole knows intimately how hard it can be to find housing. Several years ago, he was broke and homeless after spending nine months in hospital recovering from a bad leg injury. Whilst living at a homeless shelter he received low-income housing voucher that allowed him to afford a place to live in the private market.

But the voucher had it limitations. He still needed to pass screening checks from property management companies. He applied to 25 property managers but was turned down by all of them after failing to meet their screening criteria. Eventually he was approved for a housing unit just days before his voucher expired.

The experience gave him an idea to create a software platform, OneApp Oregon, that allows renters to see immediately which properties they are eligible for after paying a one-time fee. OneApp fee launched on December 12 and has processed 150 housing applications.

Poole is now looking at other business solutions to ease the affordable housing crisis. He talked to Oregon Business about his idea for a fund that pools money from renters’ deposits. This capital could then be used to create loans for affordable housing development.