As part of researching this story, we asked our Facebook followers to share their experiences with the local rental housing market. The post went viral, receiving more than 500 comments. We’ve sampled a few below to give readers an idea of what’s on renters’ minds:
Campbell Amy Brown: My one-bedroom apartment is $1,350 plus whatever they decide to charge for the community fees each month. In 2015, my larger and much nicer apartment was $750.
Tyler Howell: Housing is a major crisis that continually gets swept under the rug. Now we need a plan of action, and action to be taken, instead of shrugs and hand-wringing about the issue.
Lexie Sullivan: I just moved to Arkansas from Vancouver. Rent is so much cheaper here, and I get paid more as well! $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. Stayed there 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 today is $1,350. Ask me if my wages went up by 50 percent. Spoiler alert: They haven’t.
Tanisha Anderson: When I was 18, I could afford a one-bed, one-bath apartment while working part time. Now at 29, I couldn’t afford that same apartment while working full time. We need to address the rising rent costs.
Levi Thomas Gellatly: Would like to see rent rates compared to the landlord’s expenses/property taxes. Being a landlord is meant to be profitable. Do we destroy businesses because the demand is higher than the supply? Or do we make it more accessible to build more housing?
Synthia Cole: Housing is a diminishing commodity. With the massive influx of people moving to the area, mainly from California, it’s driving demand up while supply is limited. Washington has one of the higher minimum wages in the country, further driving up prices. The cost of everything has gone up in the past 10 years. Groceries have more than doubled, housing, taxes, basic commodities and entertainment. If the area was undesirable, no one would move here, and inflation would slow.
Felicia Dowd: I wish I had a solution, but I don’t. What I do know is that several people are stuck in a bad home environment and can’t find or afford a place on their own. I also don’t even know how the younger generation is (if) they are living in apartments or on their own. We need to find a solution, and we need to implement it quickly !
Crystal Irwin: It’s not just affordable housing. It’s any housing. Any rental at any price point we’ve looked at (except maybe millionaire) has 20-30 applicants within a couple of hours of being posted, even the 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 grown kids who are working full time have to live at home because rent takes the majority of their paycheck. We moved from Hawaii 27 years ago so that we didn’t have to struggle. With the rising cost of living here, it’s still a struggle.
Laura Henderson: I can relate. I do cat rescues. People can’t afford the pet fees, so they leave them behind. Very sad, and cruel.
Carmen Martin: You can bet wages didn’t double in that same time frame that housing costs did.
Afton Gwen Rainey: We’re all told to live within our means, but what do you do when housing becomes beyond your means? That’s one of the major contributing factors to the rise in homelessness. Not to mention all of the single parents or single-income families who can’t afford to pay for housing and all of the other living expenses.
Alex Boyer: People saying “supply and demand” should know there are 1,700 apartments available on apartments.com in Vancouver, and five were under $1,000.