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Rising rent forces woman to verge of homelessness

Landlords are making rent so costly some are forced to live in motels.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Rising rent is forcing people to pay way more than they ever anticipated paying for rent. Some in the Tampa Bay area have gone homeless.

Carol Foster fears she is next. 

“My landlord came to me and let me know that he was going to raise the rent from $1,510 to $2,700, and I told him I couldn’t do that,” Foster said.

Many are in Foster’s position and are seeing their rent skyrocket. 

“It’s sad. It’s almost if Manatee County is trying to chase all of the lower class and middle-class people away,” Foster stated.

Foster was renting a house in Bradenton for more than five years. When her rent went up, so, too, did her time in that house. Now without a job, she’s living here in a motel day by day. 

“I’ve got my degree in teaching, and I don’t know if I want to apply because I can’t find a place I can afford to even live right now,” Foster stated.

Foster is staying in a motel with her son and pets but doesn’t know when she may be forced out. 

“I’ve got a son and I’ve got pets," she said. "It’s my responsibility to keep a roof over their head."

In Tampa, Mayor Jane Castor understands people are in Foster’s position. 

"It is a concern clearly for our residents as our rent prices rise that individuals will have to move further from the city core," said Castor, adding that city officials are working right now to assist people.

"We have programs, rent and mortgage relief. We’re working with the county on a number of relief programs. We’re putting money into rehabbing homes so individuals can stay in their homes," Castor said.

Those in Foster’s situation wonder why can’t city leaders, like Castor, don't initiate rent control. Castor explains it's not the solution for the city. 

"I understand the calls for rent stabilization and rent control, but that’s sort of a very thin bandied. It’s not a long-term fix. It’s providing the housing to meet the demand. It’s more of a supply and demand issue than it is trying to stabilize," Castor explained.

City officials in Tampa are focusing on solutions to help people. 

"City council just passed a requirement that landlords have to give 60 days’ notice before they raise rent. We wish we could’ve made that longer period, like possibly a year, but unfortunately, we couldn’t," Castor added.

Castor has a message for landlords: "For that plea to the landlords to not be raising individuals rents just because you can, to do the right thing."

For renters like Foster, the right thing is to be fair. 

"The prices simply aren’t fair right now. You’re not going to have renters that keep paying you these kinds of atrocious prices," Foster added.

The rising rent reality for Foster is tomorrow she doesn’t know where she’ll sleep. That is why she created a GoFundMe

That's why there are resources to help you. Those are linked below. 

Housing resources

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