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How Treasure Valley rent increases impact those on fixed income

Virus Outbreak Making Rent
Posted at 2:33 AM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 09:10:45-04

BOISE, Idaho — As rent prices continue to rise in the Treasure Valley, some of those most impacted are those on a fixed income like social security.

Gladys Wray said her apartment is small but it works for her. It's full of memories, family photos and is a few minutes down the road from where her son lives.

But her rent went from $1,100 a month to $1,450 a month.

"Which is kind of difficult because I live on social security," Gladys said.

She and her son, Art wondered if it was time to move again, for the sixth time in the last few years.

"Besides the stress of the move if she were to do it again, the inability to find a place that would fit into all those criteria, made it impossible," Art said.

They picked the apartment she's in at Carriage Crossing in part because of how close it is to Art's place.

"We had a medical emergency a couple of months ago at five o clock in the morning where I was able to beat the ambulance here, wait for them and be there for her," he said.

Art talked to the leasing office at Carriage Crossing and they said the rental price couldn't be changed. That leaves a few other options like getting a job to supplement Social Security.

"I don't know anyone who's going to be hiring me at this stage with a walker and numerous ailments that come with old age," Gladys said.

Another option is getting financial assistance. Art and gladys are applying for the rental assistance program through the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authorities.

There are a few requirements:

  • You have to be a current renter
  • Meet income guidelines
  • Have an impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We definitely consider some of the rent increases that we're seeing across our community as an indirect impact of the pandemic," Jillian Patterson with the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authorities said.

Art and Gladys haven't run out of options yet, but they still feel the shock they felt when finding out about the rental increase.

"There's nothing illegal about this but just because you can do something doesn't mean you should," Art said.

You can find more resources for renters by clicking here.