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Need help finding an affordable apartment or home to buy?

Posted: 6:00 PM, Feb 17, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-17 10:50:24-05

PHOENIX — You've probably heard that more people are moving to some Arizona cities more than many other places in the country.

State leaders say the housing economy is "booming," but if you're on a limited income and can't find a place to live, you're familiar with the downside to that "booming" growth.

All this week, we're looking at what many now call a housing "crisis" and the obstacles many renters and buyers face.

Andres and Ronita want to move forward from their $1,200 Casa Grande rental home. With two kids and a dog, they want to own.

"I want to paint my walls. I want to change the carpet," Ronita tells me.

They're looking to buy under $200,000. But even with college educations, full-time jobs and working on their finances, they're told it's still not enough. The couple spends weekends looking for homes and says many now are more than $300,000.

They say the homes in the $100,000 and $200,000 range are harder to find. The mortgage site HSH says the average Arizona home price is now $289,000.

With 10% down, you'd have to make $64,000 to afford it. That's $31 an hour.

And it's not much better for renters.

Hotpads lists the Phoenix metro average rents at $1,545. That's an increase of 6.9% in just one year.

We were with Betsy, a Chandler apartment renter, as she tried finding another place to rent.

Betsy's story is typical. Her rent went up -- way up -- from $875 to $1,440 a month!

It's too much for her, even with a full-time job and Social Security payments. So Betsy spends days on the computer searching through multiple listings on many rental sites.

She wants to remain around the Gilbert/Chandler area because her family is close, but choices are very slim.

Betsy says, "I found two places that were within my budget."

She says she could live with her daughter's family but that's not ideal for either of them.

We're trying to help Betsy, Ronita and Andres with their struggle to find affordable housing. More on their situations later this week.

If you're having the same kind of trouble, there are ways to get help.

The Arizona Housing Coalition is a good place to start whether you are wanting to rent or buy.

They have a dozens of places that work in matching people with housing.

If you want to buy a home, Trellis is a non-profit that helps people get into homes through financial education and various programs that can help.

The Arizona Public Housing Authority can offer assistance with renting through Section 8 programs.

The City of Phoenix offers emergency help.

If you're looking for rental help, click here to access various programs.

If you're being evicted or need help fighting a landlord issue, Community Legal Services may be able to assist you.