Rents have doubled in the last 3-6 years in Washtenaw County
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
Landlords have been known to come in and buy new properties and want higher and higher rents to increase their profits. It happened in New York City where there was less ownership and a severely unbalanced economy where the public’s paycheck or where the median income was about $40,000 and the rents on the cheap end were $1600 and all the way sky high up to even $10,000 per month if you rented a pent house.
The point is the economy starts to unbalance when all the greed streams in via rentals and student exploitation and all of a sudden there is a marginalized population that doesn’t make it over the bar who has to either move or becomes homeless. Washtenaw County just experienced rapid rent growth in Ypsilanti where a woman may have rented a $500-$600 apartment 6 years ago and now is faced with lows that are in the thousands-rents have doubled. One land lady sold her building and right away the new landlord wanted to raise the rents over and over and never stopped wanting more for the building.
I am appealing to Washtenaw County Leadership, we need to set up an “Office of Fee Inquiry” that sets prices that are fair and in keeping with the economy. There are now not affordable rents for students in Ypsilanti. Students have to double up and triple up to afford an apartment. There are also extremely high rents in Ann Arbor around the University of Michigan.
It is predicted that rents will ruin this county making it unaffordable or unappealing to study and an unbalanced economy may make the poor even poorer. Most student jobs only pay $8-$10 an hour. If you look on craigslist at rents and at employment you will see a dramatic difference between low wages and high rents which are incompatible. Wages didn’t go up, rents doubled. We have a problem with the economy. In a city like Ypsilanti where rents really should be $300, $400, $500, $600ish-things are $1000, $1050, $1300, $1650. The average student cannot work full time and even if he did work full time would earn ~$1280 at $8.00 per hour which would suggest he could afford perhaps a $250 or $300 rent. The current housing situation is not realistic.
What happened in New York after rents skyrocketed should really be a lesson for us all. We need a place that will cap and price rents so that greed does not take over and before things like homelessness start to really become a problem. We need to place caps and laws on landlords not to ruin our economy. Washtenaw County is getting ruined.