PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland's tight housing market is brutal for everyone.
For those with a couple of issues on their rental record, it can be next to impossible. Fortunately, a Portland-born website is working to fix that, and its profile is growing.
“With NoAppFee.com we take your background check, and we screen you against every single vacancy in our database, and gives you a list of properties that you qualify for,” said creator Tyrone Poole.
Poole knows what it's like to struggle looking for a place.
“I'd been looking everywhere in Portland,” he recalled.
Back in 2005, Poole was training to be a firefighter when he injured himself. Medical bills mounted, debt piled up and he was evicted.
He lived in a shelter for close to half a year and spent hundreds on application fees only to find out, time after time, his debt kept him from even being considered.
“I mean I took two-hour bus rides to Vancouver because there were rumors that there was a place that accepted anybody and still was denied,” he said.
Finally, Poole found a place out of pure luck.
“I had no furniture. I laid on carpet, but it was the best night I'd had in months,” he said.
He decided that was no way to hunt for a home. He needed to find a way to pre-screen applicants and landlords and then match them as vacancies appear.
Poole shopped the idea around and the Portland Development Commission decided it was worth making it happen.
Last year, NoAppFee.com was born. Since then, sign-ups have been booming. Poole says he and his staff just need one thing to change: landlords still don't know the site exists.
“Right now, we just need more management companies on the site,” he said. “Getting awareness out that there's the tool that can help patch this crazy housing frenzy that's in Portland right now.”