For asylum seekers in a city with a housing crunch, finding apartments is not easy

Samuel Marhegane and Marthe Tshov searched for months for an apartment in Portland after arriving in Maine with their young daughter last November.

The couple, who are asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, applied to more than 20 places, but most of the time they wouldn’t hear back or were denied. Twice they paid and lost fees responding to apartment listings that turned out to be scams.