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$1,000 paid in rental applications | Memphis mom still can't find an affordable place to live

Rental prices in Memphis increased 23% year to year in June 2021

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ciara Green is a single mom and recent college graduate who has paid nearly $1,000 in rental applications, but keeps getting denied a place to live.

"I'm trying to see how to go forward, but it's kind of hard to want to keep continuing trying to find somewhere at that point because you get devastated," Green said. 

Green said she has been turned down by prospective landlords for some minor issues, but mainly because most rent prices are expensive. 

"My first problem is they want you to make three times the rent," Green said. "Like I said, I'm a recent graduate so a lot of these jobs are not paying three times." 

Green said she would have to pay more than $1,000 a month just to live in a safe area. 

"I would have to get two jobs, which I just took on a second job, in order to afford something that's safe for me and my daughter," Green said.

Green is only one of the many renters who have struggled to find a place to live amid rising rent costs in 2021. 

In June, rent was up 23% year to year in Memphis.

Dr. John Gnuschke, the president of 901 Economics, said while there's a high demand for rental properties, the prices likely won't go down in the new year. 

"The supply of housing has always been an issue especially quality housing," Gnuschke said. "You have to have housing that not only meets your needs, but meets your budget and to the extent that that's a problem in 2021 it's probably going to get worse in 2022."

With more apartments being built, he said that might eventually help some renters. 

"The only thing that might cause rent to soften somewhat is the supply of rental property," Gnuschke said. "There's quite a supply of rental property and new property coming and that might soften rental prices."