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Need help finding an affordable rental? Rents by zip code and programs to help

Posted: 4:29 AM, Feb 19, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-19 09:00:11-05
For Rent sign

As demand outweighs supply, rental prices are rising fast throughout Arizona.

If you're on a tight budget, it's becoming hard to find anything affordable in desirable areas.

Betsy is looking for a new apartment. She's renting in Chandler and wants to stay close to her daughter and grandkids.

By day, she works. But at night, she's on the computer looking at rental sites, and finding very little.

Betsy rented from a condo owner at Soleil in Chandler. When a majority of owners sold to an investor, the rest were forced to sell. That included Betsy's owner and it's happening throughout the Valley.

The units were turned into higher-rent apartments and Betsy's rent went from $875 to $1,440.

She says she can't afford it and wouldn't pay it for a one-bedroom apartment anyway.

But, that's still below the average $1,500 rent in the Phoenix metro area.

Joan Serviss is the Executive Director of the Arizona Housing Coalition.

It's a non-profit organization that brings other non-profits together and works with the legislature for change.

Serviss says renters need to make $19.52 an hour to afford current rents. She says minimum wage workers would have to work 57 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

Right now in many Arizona cities, there is too little supply for too high demand.

In 2010, 12.2% of Metro Phoenix rentals were vacant. At the beginning of 2019, it was 5.3%.

So for every 100 rentals, there are only 5 that are vacant.

Serviss is pushing legislators to do more, saying housing programs need to be funded and a housing tax credit be offered to increase affordable housing.

She says 150,000 units need to be brought online and rehabilitated for housing use.

Most cities have subsidized housing programs.

Phoenix, Mesa and other cities have agreements with apartment complexes for lower rents, but people like Betsy make too much to qualify for many of those programs Plus, she makes too little to rent at market values.

That puts her at risk for landlords.

On the day we met with her, Betsy had received an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent. However, she says she did pay rent and can't get anyone to listen.

We went with Betsy to the complex office and saw another tenant with similar issues.

I tried asking the office manager about it, but she kept walking and says that information had to come from someone else.

Later, the complex told us Betsy had paid her rent but there wasn't a name on the payment to show it was hers -- so they removed late charges.

Still, Betsy is moving -- and she will be sharing a home with another person.

While she gives up some privacy, the monthly cost is in her budget.

If you're a renter, we crunched the numbers for average lowest priced one-bedroom apartments in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Here they are:

Zip Code City CountyName Avg. Price in 12/2019
85712 Tucson Pima County 645
85716 Tucson Pima County 650
85705 Tucson Pima County 662.5
85719 Tucson Pima County 680
85053 Phoenix Maricopa County 869
85210 Mesa Maricopa County 900
85203 Mesa Maricopa County 900
85202 Mesa Maricopa County 925
85020 Phoenix Maricopa County 929
85027 Phoenix Maricopa County 985
85204 Mesa Maricopa County 1000
85018 Phoenix Maricopa County 1025
85032 Phoenix Maricopa County 1050
85022 Phoenix Maricopa County 1059
85283 Tempe Maricopa County 1077
85392 Avondale Maricopa County 1096
85282 Tempe Maricopa County 1111
85044 Phoenix Maricopa County 1135
85206 Mesa Maricopa County 1150.5
85085 Phoenix Maricopa County 1163
85006 Phoenix Maricopa County 1173
85225 Chandler Maricopa County 1200
85224 Chandler Maricopa County 1202
85308 Glendale Maricopa County 1208

Renter Assistance:

See if you qualify for government-assisted Section 8 housing.

Click here for City of Phoenix 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, click here to see if you qualify for help from Community Legal Services.