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Older adults in Birmingham-metro struggling with high rent prices

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 11:25 PM CDT
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PELHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Just like everything else nowadays, apartment rents are going up.

It’s not just younger families facing this, many of our more senior neighbors are struggling with high rent prices too.

Inflation is making everything expensive and no matter the age, many people’s wallets are becoming tight.

“It’s going to price me out of a place to live,” said Denise Chapin. “My paycheck doesn’t go up as much as rent does.”

She’s been a renter for seven years in Pelham and she says rent nowadays is getting way too expensive.

“It goes up and up and up,” said Chapin. “It’s probably gone up about $400 since I started.”

As AARP Alabama Communications Director Jamie Harding says, it’s not only a problem in Alabama.

“Affordable housing -- it was an issue before,” she said. “Now it’s much worse. When you start talking about rent increases of as much as 30% in one year, no one’s income can keep up with that, but that’s especially true for people over 65.”

Harding says large rent increases are not uncommon across the country and people tend to forget older adults are impacted just as much by the rising prices.

“When you see prices for food, for fuel, for rent for everything skyrocketing the way it has over the past year or so, it’s really unsustainable for them,” said Harding.

“Choose between gas or food,” said Chapin. “Rent’s got to be paid.”

With a limited income, sometimes that’s the only way to get by in this day and age.

“They cut back on food,” said Harding. “They cut back on utilities as much as possible. They cut back on things like medications.”

“It just needs to ease up,” said Chapin. “I mean, there’s got to be some kind of solution to get it to be back livable.”

Harding encourages anyone watching who might be struggling financially to seek out local resources instead of suffering in silence.

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