April 25, 2014
It can be tough to finding a place to live in this economy, especially when you have to factor in location, safety and affordability.
That's something Shantron Franklin-Sims struggled with as she found a place, but it wasn't within her budget.
"I found something, but of course it was at the very top of my budget, it was actually slightly over," says Sims. "But it was the only thing that had the basic amenities that I needed for me and my son."
Sims is a working single mom with a college degree. She says she found a two bedroom apartment for $1,050 a month, but after rent and utilities that doesn't leave much to live off of.
"So it will be somewhat of a struggle," explains Sims. "It won't be what I consider thriving; it will be more like surviving."
The owner of Braden Property Management says that rent for a one bedroom apartment should be one third of your income for the month.
"Just that alone makes it more expensive if you think of what's three times $850, or $750, or $1,000," says Steve Braden. "It goes up from there the nicer you get."
"It is an expensive community for its size."
Rental prices have gone up in the past year.
"This year particularly it's one to two percent increases from the previous year," says Braden.
According to the department of Housing and Urban Development, in order to afford a one bedroom apartment in Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson and Greene counties you have to make at least $16.35 an hour, which is hard to come by in this economy.
"I work here, I should be able to live here and not struggle to live here," says Sims. "I should be able to live here and contribute to the community and the economy in other ways, but I think you are lucky to just be able to pay rent and utilities."