State of 208: Apartment crunch for lower-income families

Posted at 2:29 PM, Jun 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-11 14:59:57-04

You can't help but notice what's happening to the market for apartment rentals in the Treasure Valley. People are lining up for new places to rent as fast of developers can build them. The rising prices are leaving some people on the outside looking in, unable to find affordable housing.

The apartment explosion happening in the Treasure Valley takes on a different dynamic when it comes to lower-income families. These families are having a tough time finding a place to live. And, because of the high demand, there's no guarantee they'll be moving in any time soon. 

Arin Day cannot understand why it is so hard to find affordable housing here in the Treasure Valley. "There was just nothing," said Day. "Since we have a bigger family, we need three bedrooms; so most apartment buildings won't accept us for a two bedroom. But because we're on a lower income base, we can't afford the thousand dollars or more for a three-bedroom apartment."

But it's something the folks at the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority deal with everyday. Jillian Patterson explains: "We mainly serve people who are low-income. But very low income... their ability to find a unit is nearly impossible." 

It's something local governments are well aware of. Mike Journee with the City of Boise says the conversation is already happening. "There's been a lot of conversations about affordability of housing in Boise," said Journee. "In fact, the mayor and council are having strategic sessions around that very topic, and we'll continue to do that going forward."

It is not just Idaho. Affordable housing and apartments is an issue happening all over the country.

For renters in the Treasure Valley, what is needed now is time and a lot of patience.