Coral Howe: Suffering from the effects of a hot real estate market

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The real estate market is booming and tenants are being squeezed out of their homes. We all feel the pressure.

Anyone with experience applying for subsidized housing is aware of the long waiting lists and restrictions that prevent tenants from accessing it. Shelters are constantly overloaded and underfunded, and neighborhood residents are reluctant to allow new shelters in their neighborhoods. The motels are booked for the tourist season and as a result they are unwilling or unable to accept people with motel packages from their local support team. People are forced to pay an increased price for temporary housing while they continue the tedious search for vacant apartments.

Although the moratorium prevented evictions due to non-payment of rent, no safeguards were put in place for tenants whose homeowners sold their homes. As a result, I get calls from people from all over the state, desperate to find affordable housing. This problem is compounded when you need affordable housing due to your disability, you have a low credit rating, or you have a large family. Some people are unable to pay the ever-increasing monthly rent and utility bills while wages remain unchanged, and generally, homeowners still require a deposit and last month’s rent in excess of it.

For the average person, even if you are digital and literate, finding a vacant apartment close to your place of work, medical staff, daycare, or family members is a seemingly impossible task.

Accommodation is not as affordable as one might think. Availability notices are scattered randomly across print and digital media. You may find one or two rooms available for rent in listings, maybe a legitimate ad tucked under a bunch of scam listings on Craigslist, or reach out to an underfunded and overworked nonprofit to help you find and get a call back days in advance. the way you are. ” re is about to be evicted. Most of us have to search on Facebook, use online listing services that don’t get updated frequently, or surf the couch.

What can a person do?

These problems have been here all along, but they are now exacerbated by this famous property boom and pandemic. Landlords are eager to evict people who haven’t paid their rent, real estate agents are eager to sell properties, and jobs are eager to hire people without raising their wages. Banks are ruthless – they had their greedy hands all along while we all suffered together, waiting for us to squeeze blood out of stone, and there seems to be no oversight to prevent banks and mortgage companies from exploiting us from the top down.

I want to emphasize, from the tenant’s point of view, how cruel it is to evict people living in your newly acquired building. Where is your humanity? The people who rent your property are the reason you can live in your own home. The very nature of a landlord is to take the pay that your tenants take home. The least you can do is work with us to provide us with housing before you evict us.

One solution that I hesitate to point out is the cohabitation of several people from different families. It seems that living alone or with another roommate is no longer realistic for most people – having your own personal space becomes a luxury.

I wonder if we’ll see a boom in homes that are bought or rented by three or more people just to make ends meet. Will this be the beginning of a more connected life and stronger communities? If I remain hopeful, I would say so.

A long hot summer awaits us, with a new type of pandemic looming on the horizon – homelessness. The sooner we can fight collectively to provide each other with shelter, instead of making a good deal and throwing people into the streets, the better.

It’s not going anywhere. We need to act to the best of our ability. At this stage, it is better to try any idea than nothing.

Dixfield-based Coral Howe works for a non-profit organization that provides Maine residents with housing, food, financial assistance and medical resources.


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