As part of researching this story, we asked our Facebook subscribers to share their experiences with the local rental housing market. The post went viral, receiving over 500 comments. We’ve picked a few below to give readers an idea of what’s on the minds of tenants:
Jennifer Cerveny Miller: I don’t know of a case where raising rent is never a problem.
Campbell Amy Brown: My one bedroom apartment costs $ 1,350 plus whatever they decide to charge for community fees each month. In 2015, my bigger and much nicer apartment cost $ 750.
Tyler Howell: Housing is a major crisis that is continually swept under the rug. Now we need a plan of action and actions to take, instead of shrugging our shoulders and wringing our hands on the issue.
Lexie Sullivan: I just moved from Vancouver to Arkansas. The rent is so much cheaper here, and I also get paid more! $ 780 for a three bedroom!
Angel Kettwig: In 2014, I moved into a two bedroom apartment in Cascade Park, and it was $ 975 a month. I was there for seven years and finally left this year at $ 1,525 per month.
Matt Rollins: Seven years ago my old apartment was renting for $ 945. That same apartment now costs $ 1,350. Ask me if my salary has increased by 50%. Spoiler alert: they didn’t.
Tanisha Anderson: When I was 18, I could afford an apartment with a bed and a bathroom while working part-time. Now at 29, I couldn’t afford that same apartment while working full time. We have to deal with rising rents.
Levi Thomas Gellatly: I’d like to see the rent rates versus the landlord’s expenses / property taxes. Owning is meant to be profitable. Are we destroying businesses because the demand is greater than the supply? Or are we making it more accessible to build more housing?
Synthia Cole: Housing is a commodity in decline. With the massive influx of people settling in the area, mostly from California, this is driving up demand while supply is limited. Washington has one of the highest minimum wages in the country, pushing prices even higher. The cost of everything has increased over the past 10 years. Groceries more than doubled, housing, taxes, basic goods and entertainment. If the area was junk, no one would move here and inflation would slow.
Felicia Dowd: I wish I had a solution, but I don’t have one. What I do know is that many people are stuck in a bad home environment and cannot find or afford a place on their own. I don’t even know how the younger generation is doing (if) they live in an apartment or alone. We need to find a solution, and we need to implement it quickly!
Crystal Irwin: It’s not just affordable housing. It is any accommodation. Any hire at any price we looked at (except maybe Millionaire) got 20-30 applicants within a few hours of posting, even ones I probably wouldn’t normally consider.
Lisa Nelski: So many friends from my church are moving to cheaper areas like eastern Washington and Texas.
Kathlene Collins: My full-time working adult kids have to live at home because rent takes the majority of their wages. We moved from Hawaii 27 years ago so we didn’t have to struggle. With the cost of living rising here, it’s still a struggle.
Laura Henderson: I can understand. I do cat rescues. People cannot afford the animal costs, so they leave them behind. Very sad and cruel.
Carmen Martin: You can bet that wages haven’t doubled in the same time frame as housing costs.
Afton Gwen Rainey: We are all told to live within our means, but what do you do when housing becomes beyond your means? It is one of the main factors contributing to the increase in homelessness. Not to mention all the single parents or single income families who cannot afford housing and all other living expenses.
Alex Boyer: People who say “supply and demand” should know that there are 1,700 apartments available on apartments.com in Vancouver, and five were less than $ 1,000.