Boise, Idaho–It’s a place where you can rent a couch and a bed for less than $400 a night.
But for some people, it’s a real estate nightmare.
Boise realtor Robert Fennelly says that’s because there are few rental properties in the city of Boise.
He says that with a shortage of affordable housing in the area, he’s been forced to find other ways to rent his apartment, but says he’s never been able to find a good tenant for his house.
Fennelly is not alone.
Many renters are struggling with finding a good place to live.
For instance, the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that in the past year, the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom unit in Boise has risen by $1,200.
It’s a price tag that’s on the rise for the region.
The average rent for an apartment in Boise rose by $2,700 last year.
Boards are also finding it difficult to keep up with demand.
Boise City Councilwoman Debbie Jones says she believes the increase in vacancy rates, as well as rising housing costs, is the result of too many people renting in Boise.
“The vacancy rate has been way up, the vacancy rate is way up,” she said.
“It’s very difficult for our neighborhoods to keep pace with what’s going on.”
Jones said the city is working to get rental properties out of the city to reduce the number of vacant properties.
The city’s vacancy rate for January was 4.4%.
Jones said the number is at an all-time high of 5.6%.
Boise is also struggling with a lack of affordable homes.
It is one of the states with the highest poverty rates, with nearly 11 percent of households living below the poverty line.
“The fact that so many people have to live in the lowest income areas in Boise, it seems like there’s an unwillingness on the part of some to invest in the neighborhoods that have a high amount of poverty,” said Jim Wainwright, a Boise realtor.
Wainwright says he sees a disconnect between Boiseans and renters, which can lead to conflicts.
“It is becoming a problem when you have a large number of people who have no interest in renting in your neighborhood, no interest to go to your neighborhood and they don’t have a real desire to buy a home,” he said.
Warnick says the city needs to invest more in its rental market to keep the affordable housing supply up.