Phoenix area renters bills going up, while paychecks stay nearly the same

Renters in the Phoenix area are feeling the squeeze as the cost of rent continues to increase while paychecks are not.

A new report shows cities in the area are among the top ten in the nation with the biggest rent increase year over year, and renters in Chandler and Scottsdale saw some of the highest increases in the nation.

Chandler is the third most expensive city in the Valley when it comes to rent, behind Surprise and Scottsdale.

Chandler city officials say we're in the midst of an affordable housing crisis with rents skyrocketing, but household incomes not.

"My rent will go up from $985, to $1906.17," said renter Tiffany Farinas.

The single mother of three in Chandler says she got a 30-day notice informing her that rent is going up at the end of April.

"I did my fair share of crying for a couple days, now I’m trying to look for an apartment in my budget. There’s a lot of expensive apartments, or if I find one close to my budget, it’s already taken," Farinas said.

According to Zumper, the average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Chandler jumped to more than $1,600 a month – a 21% increase from year to year. The median price in Arizona is more than $1,300 a month.

"When their rents come up for renewal, they raise anywhere from $300 to $800 a month. Not a lot of us can just accept that without some kind of change," said Riann Balch, city of Chandler Community Resources Manager.

Chandler is seeing a large uptick in families seeking emergency help for rent and utilities. They encourage people to reach out for help because the city has funding to assist families in need and is trying to work with landlords.

"The most important thing we can do is keep people in their housing. We are working very closely with landlords as well," Balch said. "We have incentives for landlords to keep their rents down."

Meanwhile, many families are scrambling to find ways to afford to live in the Valley.

"I did get another job with DoorDash," Farinas said. "But with that and my full-time job and looking for another apartment – it’s a lot."

Officials are blaming the steep increase on supply and demand.

Too many renters, and not enough homes.

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