Suncoast residents struggling with skyrocketing housing and rental prices

Suncoast residents struggling to find affordable housing.
Suncoast residents struggling to find affordable housing.(WWSB)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 8:26 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Home prices and rental prices continue to skyrocket, that’s the reality on the Suncoast. Rents that were $1500 a month are now more than $2000 a month, and it’s hitting people hard.

“Most of these people are working, they’re hard working individuals,” said Mark Vengroff, Managing Partner of One Stop Housing. “From waiters and waitresses to folks in the hospitality industry and the factories, and they just can’t find anything.”

Vengroff who oversees thousands of affordable housing units says he gets hundreds of calls every week from people in need of affordable housing. One of those who is lucky enough to have affordable housing is Pam Wilson. She says the cheapest rents she could find outside of her affordable unit is $1800 a month.

“I work 40 to 45 hours a week and it’s still a struggle,” said Wilson. “If they weren’t here, I don’t know what I would do, I would probably be homeless.”

Tony Veldkamp, President of the Realtors Association of Sarasota Manatee says it’s a supply and demand issue. He says that many people looking to buy a home are having to rent because of the high housing prices and also not a lot of homes are available, leaving a lot less inventory for rentals.

“The apartment builders have been building new units at an amazing rate for the past 10 years, but yet they’re full,” said Veldkamp. “And we still have those people moving to Florida and still wanting to rent, and until they build enough units and the demand tapers off, you’re not going to see those prices drop.”

Veldkamp says people looking to rent or buy may have to look outside of their target area. Vengroff says we all need to work together to improve the housing situation.

“The solution to the problem is basically a public and private partnership through the government, public entities and non profits,” said Vengroff.

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