Note: This story is part of Squeezed Out, a series from Lee Enterprises that focuses on the escalating housing crisis in the West. Across the region, costs associated with renting or buying property have skyrocketed, forcing many individuals and families to redefine the meaning of home. More than one dozen reporters, photographers and editors across the West contributed to this project.
The overheated housing market has been especially brutal on a group not even looking to buy: low-income renters.
All over the west, renters are being displaced when their apartments are converted to condos or their mobile home parks are sold to developers looking for land to build on. Those who stay watch their monthly payments soar as remote workers move in and push up demand, and would-be homebuyers can’t find places they can afford.
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In June, the median asking rent in the U.S. surpassed $2,000 for the first time, according to a Dwellsy analysis of more than 641,000 available rentals. July saw the largest year-over-year percentage increase in rent since 1986, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As renters are priced out, they are forced into dilapidated