I have been searching for an apartment for my son to rent. Holy cow! How does anyone begin to afford to move into one when they are paying rent on the one they are in currently? What if they have other bills to pay too? I can understand the landlords wanting to make money off the tenants and all. Yet who can afford the first and last month rent, plus security, plus utilities too???? I mean they are expensive!
In a city near us, Binghamton, NY, which includes several other towns and cities in the surrounding area, there is a college, Binghamton University. So the landlords in the whole city of Binghamton, only want college students for renters. That eliminates a lot of citizens of the area. People complain constantly about everyone moving out of the area. Yet they do everything they can to make people have to move out of the area.
Just a few days ago, our local newspaper had an article about a revival in the downtown area, which is not a safe area, no matter what they write in the paper. The owners put a lot of money into remodeling the lofts of the buildings on the main streets in downtown Binghamton. Yes, they are very nice. These apartments are all very high rent and not affordable for the typical downtown dwellers.
Why can't a city give incentives to landlords to provide apartments for low income families, disabled, singles and retirees without putting a lot of stipulations into the rental agreements? If you are applying for low income housing, you have to give them access to your bank accounts. As well as, sign all kinds of paperwork saying you will never do this or you have never done that. I understand former apartment referrals to check if they ruined a former apartment or something of that nature.
Low income people cannot come up with a huge amount of money at one time to rent an apartment, so they are left out. If they want to share an apartment with others, usually the landlord will not allow that. Sometimes there are ordinances against people living together who are not related Or if they are getting Social Security Income (SSI) or social services income (welfare), they cannot live with other people. If they do their checks and food stamps will be cut. Makes no sense that if they are trying to get ahead and share housing, so they can buy enough food or whatever, the programs keep them on the bottom. It is easy to see why so many are forced into committing crimes to survive. What other choice do they have? It is easy for someone else to pass judgement on others when they have never worn their shoes.
I think this is discrimination against low income or disabled people. They do not do this to people with money. Money is all it takes to get into any apartment no matter what your history is. It wasn't that long ago when landlords did not want to rent to college students. The reason being that they party all the time. Well, they still party all the time. Landlords look the other way on that, as long as mommy and daddy pick up the tab for the apartments. A college rental house is rented per bedroom to each student. They may pay a few hundred dollars for their room, and the rest of the house is shared with other students. If I had it within my power, I'd invest in some good quality housing for low income people. Make them proud of the place they live, and maybe things would start looking up for them in other areas of their lives as well. After all anyone, myself included, could end up in the same circumstances. You never know!
Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole