Yakima County has one of the worst eviction rates in the state
YAKIMA, Wash.- With rent prices in the U.S. being at an all-time high, and minimum wage salaries not meeting the demand, its made it one of the leading causes for why people are evicted from their homes and end up living in poor conditions, or even homeless.
"Currently we have more rentals available now than I've ever had in the time that I've been renting properties, which has been about 30 years," said Roger Wilson, Owner of Wilson Real Estate Management.
Wilson says evictions are high for multiple reasons.
"Well it's not just money, its behavior. Whether its criminal activity, or they've been evicted before. So these people are trying to apply to live somewhere but nobody that screens them will let them live there," said Wilson.
A total of 3.7 million people in the U.S. have been effected be an eviction. Yakima's eviction rate is a total of 3.6 percent this year. That's based on the total amount of renters in the city, that's higher than Tri-cities, Portland and even Seattle, and it's the second highest eviction rate in Washington.
According to Apartment List Rentanomics, nearly one and five renters were unable to pay their rent in full during the last three months, low wage-workers are the ones to struggle the most.
"We have vacancies from studios up to single family homes. They range from 300 up to 2,000 right now and we have quite a few vacancies," said Katie Windsor, General Manager for Jevons Property Management.
Windsor says single family homes are the hardest to find qualified tenants.
"Single family homes we require a 650 credit score, and they have to make three times the rent amount. It's a little bit harder for some people to be able to qualify for that," said Windsor.
"I think the rent is outrageous for what the houses are worth. We both work just to pay rent and pay bills. I would like to give my kids money to go to the movies, or give them money to go do whatever they want to do but we are not able to do that," said Martha Gamboa, renter in Yakima.
Martha and her husband live in a four-bedroom house, and she says every month is a challenge.
" We are just barely surviving. We just keep our heads basically out of the water, and I'm pretty sure there are families just like us."
Wilson says rent prices fluctuate depending on the rentals available. When there are more vacancies, rent prices go down and when there's less spots to fill, rent rates goes up. Rent prices in Yakima County are the most expensive during the spring and summer. For someone looking to rent a home, the cheapest time to sign a lease is going to be during the next few months.