This single mom and housing problems. I saw the ad for affordable housing and called. The landlord told me the location and because I knew it was the low income housing complex, I tried to back out of the appointment for viewing. The landlord says that I really should take a look first, it just might work for me.
At the time, me and my three children were living in a two bedroom half-duplex. It was nice enough, the dining room was such that it could have been a third bedroom. But, instead of using the dining room, my boys shared a room, and my daughter and I shared a room – I had the bottom bunk – not kidding! The street was close to town and had lots of families on it. And it was $550 a month, which was comparable at the time. I tell my daughter, the oldest at 10 years old, that we were going to view this townhouse in the low income housing complex. She is saying “No, we can’t live there”, and I believe she is embarrassed by the title of housing complex. She also says “we cannot live there, that’s where the poor people live”. I say okay, but we have an appointment and I guess we should go and not cancel.
We walk in to this clean, two story, 4 bedroom, two bathroom, laundry room, carport home. We are not there 3 minutes before my daughter is begging me to take the place. Yes, it was a nice big place. Bigger than what we were used to. And newer than what we were used to. And the rent? it was a whole $306 per month. Sold!
At our appointment, we saw someone we recognized and contacted them about the living situation there. She told us that the place was cleaned up with the new manager and has become a decent place to live. Phew!
The kids still all remember when we had the keys but hadn’t moved in yet, and we had stopped for ice cream blizzards then went to our new home, all of us sitting in one corner of the living room each, eating our ice cream and talking about our new home. These two images are of our actual housing.
My advice is to keep checking with any housing agency. When I applied for housing out of town, I applied at 3 places. I was told it would be up to a year or so. Within a couple of weeks, I got a call! but I was going back to school, and wasn’t ready yet.
Meanwhile, the other agencies never called, and this one never called back. I think what happens is the landlords figure if you haven’t called back, then you must have found other arrangements, which really is unfair. Also, like other government agencies and the supply and demand of services, the more drastic your situation, the more likely you are to be bumped to the top of the list.
I think this landlord liked me and wanted me to rent there because I was a working single mother. Firstly, single moms tend to take batter care of the rental units. Secondly, I was working, and at an elementary school. I must have looked way better than the smoking greasy-haired welfare couple before me. Fact is, landlords can have their own methods of choosing tenants. When I got there, the manager, a landlord himself to another property, was the person in charge of collecting rents, cleaning up, posting eviction notices, dealing with police, dealing with tenant problems and issues, etc. So renting to someone responsible looking like me, means less crap that he has to deal with.
During my 10 year stay there, I had three landlords, and they all had their version of how to run things, more on this link here. pending.
We really liked our place there, got spoiled having two bathrooms. We were close to town, close enough we could walk to the stores and school, yet we were on the edge of town too, with a cemetery at the end of our road, and farmland after that. We became one of the longest living families there. Lived there 11 years.
Here’s a link to lowincomehousing.us, an organization to help you find affordable housing. Good luck!
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