FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The housing crisis across the country is felt by most Americans in search of a new home. The impacts in Allen County are felt stronger than most other places in the Hoosier state.
Numbers on rent.com are updated daily. As of this week, national increases for rent on a 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom apartment are up 22% from this time last year.
Across Indiana, there has been an 8% increase for a 1 bedroom and a 16% increase for a 2 bedroom. Far less of an increase that Allen County is seeing. Those numbers are almost doubled. A 1 bedroom is up 23% and a 2 bedroom, 29%.
Brian Carberry the senior editing manager at rent.com says a lot of this is due to supply and demand. “The housing market is hot and a lot of people are being priced out of homes they want to buy, especially younger people. Those younger people are looking to rent for a few years because that’s their only option. You’re also finding people who sell their home for profit and may not want to buy again right away,” Carberry explains.
He goes on to say inflation plays a part as well. Everything is costing more so in turn it will cost more for the consumers that want to rent somewhere.
Andrew Bradley is the policy director at Prosperity Indiana. He explains that while Indiana has a reputation for being an affordable place to live, that’s really not the case for the bottom 30% or so of income earners.
“All of a sudden, Indiana is the #1 state in the Midwest for the rate of severely housing cost burden residents from the lowest income brackets,” Bradley says.
According to Prosperity Indiana, across the state of Indiana there are only 38 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low income households. That number is more stark in Allen County. 28 affordable and available units are available for every 100. That is the 19th lowest county rate in the state.
“Extremely low income households, the greatest percentage of those are in the workforce. It’s really alarming that in Allen County, 74% of those are spending more than half of their income of every paycheck and every source of income on housing,” Bradley explains.
A whole community is on the brink of being put into financial distress simply because of the lack of available and affordable housing.
“We need congress to step up and make investments like Senator Todd Young’s neighborhoods investment act, we need the state to increase habitability standards and we need the state to invest in more affordable housing,” Bradley says.
Alisa Humbert is a mortgage loan originator for 1st Source Bank in Fort Wayne and says, “the Fort Wayne market does seem to have a lack of affordable housing options. In my experience, the number one thing a person can do is talk to a professional like a mortgage loan originator first and have them help you make a plan. There are often options available that will help you buy a house, even in this market, but knowing your options and planning ahead are key.”
“When you get into the summer months, you are going to see these rate of increases calming down a little bit because you’re going to be comparing it to a time where prices have already gone up. So there could be come relief in sight,” Carberry explains.
Carberry believes that by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023 prices will begin to decrease.