MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many Memphis families are dealing with apartment rental sticker shock.
Cindy Ettingoff, the CEO and Chief Legal Counsel for Memphis Area Legal Services, said it is affecting lower income single mothers extremely hard.
“It’s definitely on steroids. This is going to be an ugly period,” she said. “You’re looking at everything going up for them. Shoes for those children, formula and things like that, and if you’re having to pay a premium in other areas, you can’t pay a premium in housing, too.”
A recent survey shows the Memphis rental market increased by almost 40% within the last year.
“Memphis is a rough market for poor people but not just poor people,” Ettingoff said. “The price of housing has gone up so much, I know the number that was cited was 41%.”
Memphis is faced with not enough new structures being built and high demand for what is here.
“There are not that many structures here, period, and then you couple that with the fact that people who are in them don’t want to leave them if they’re forced out,” Ettingoff said. “And if they’re being forced to leave them, there’s somebody waiting in line to get them.”
To provide some relief to struggling renters, President Biden is unveiling his Housing Supply Action Plan to boost the supple of quality housing and provide rental assistance.
“I know that families all across America are hurting because of inflation,” Biden said.
Some realtors say families should consider all options as the rental sticker shock continues.
“People are looking for affordability, and the best place to find affordability is in smaller towns, suburbs,” Chief Economist Danielle Hale said. “A little bit further than the hustle and bustle of the downtown metro area.”
The median rental price in Memphis is hovering around $1,300 per month. Memphis Area Legal Services said the White House is expected to release more details about its housing supply action plan on Thursday, May 19.