‘Where do you pull the money from?’: Renters getting priced out of market, forced to leave city

SPOKANE, Wash. — Many renters prepare for price hikes. It’s normal for rates to increase, but current rent increases are more drastic than many can keep up with.

During the eviction moratorium, rent was frozen. Landlords weren’t able to increase rent on current tenants, but that’s come to an end. Now, renters are learning their rates have changed more than they could have imagined.

“We knew the hammer was going to drop eventually. We didn’t know it was going to be this extreme,” said Tyler Middlemas, a local renter.

He’s currently renting a two-bed, two-bath apartment with his wife and daughter for $1,055. If he wants to re-sign his lease in September, his expenses will be over $1,600 — a 55% increase.

“There’s no magic cure,” he said. “Where do you pull the money from?”

He’s looking for a new place to call home, but it’s a similar story across town. Spokane is in high demand. More people are moving to the city and willing to pay more.

“Rent has gone up, and wages have not gone up so there’s quite the disparity with everything,” Middlemas said. “There’s too many variables going on right now, and we just don’t know what else to do.”

He is on a fixed income because of health issues so his salary can’t increase, and his wife and daughter both work to make ends meet. However, they can’t come up with another $600 to stay where they are now.

They’re looking at Post Falls as their next place to call home.

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