Rent increase in Spokane forces people to look for housing elsewhere

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — On the heels of the pandemic, thousands from across the country have packed up, moved, planted their roots here, and are now calling the Spokane region home. As a result, the housing market has never been so competitive and that domino effect is now impacting renters in huge ways.

That increase breaks down to a nearly 30 percent over the past year, according to a report by The Apartment List.

Spokane residents who had no intention of moving are being forced to find new homes because they’re getting notifications of rent increases up to $500/month.

“I was like, this place is not worth 500 dollars more, but I’m lucky that I’m here and I’m stabled and I can kind of start to relax, ” said Jaymie Pentony who moved into her new home two days ago.

Prior to this though, relaxing was the last thing she had the time to do.

“I had to do my due diligence to try and find a new place and I mean it felt like a part time job,” she said.

A few months ago, when she hit the one year mark at her previous apartment, she got a notice that rent was going up by $70. She considered it, until a few weeks later when that number became $500.

“I was just like, okay yup that’s my decision to move to do that,” she said.

She spent months on wait lists, putting in calls, applications and scouring the Spokane region for a new home, and she feels lucky she had the time to do that.

“It was hard. I’m not going to lie. It was just one of those added stressors in life,” she said.

Ultimately, she moved from north Spokane to the Spokane Valley for a place that was bigger, nicer, safer and more walkable.

“It’s a struggle for everybody, I am struggling, other people are too. It’s definitely frustrating as well,” Pentony said.

She added, “Housing should not be that hard to find.” There’s no denying it, this is a shared sentiment for thousands across the region right now.

According to that recent report by The Apartment List, Spokane has the 2nd highest year-over-year rent increases in the nation, behind Boise.

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