As the cost of living continues to rise, many fixed-income seniors find it increasingly difficult to keep up with rent payments. In some cases, landlords choose to raise rents to make a larger profit. This is the same case in Southern Nevada, where a senior citizen on a fixed income saw her lease increase by $200 a month. It is estimated that rental prices in Las Vegas and Reno have increased faster than the overall national average. According to Zumper, a rental platform shows that the average rental price of a one-bedroom apartment is $1,275 in Reno and $1,250 in Las Vegas, a 19% increase and 24% increase in comparison to prices the past year, respectively. This type of rent increase can have devastating consequences for fixed-income seniors. Many are already living on a tight budget, and any increased expenses can risk losing their housing. In addition, seniors on fixed incomes may not have the means to find alternative housing and could end up homeless.
Landlords need to consider the impact their rental cost increases may have on their fixed-income tenants. While raising rents to make a larger profit may be tempting, it is important to remember the potential consequences for fixed-income seniors who cannot keep up with the increased payments. Landlords should also consider working with their fixed-income tenants to find a solution that works for both parties. This could include offering a payment plan or finding ways to lower expenses for the tenant. In one of the Nevada Housing Coalition Forum hosted in Reno, one of the committee members Marsy Kupfersmith points out that in Nevada, “seniors get nervous after every ten months worrying what their situation will look like.” She is concerned like many seniors who are always worried about additional costs, such as relocation costs and security deposit that crop up when one moves. Hence, the need for rent stabilization. By working together, both parties can ensure that fixed-income seniors can maintain their housing and live comfortably. Now, let us look at the effects of rent-raising landlords on seniors.
- Seniors may struggle to keep up with rental payments and could become homeless.
- Emotional distress and financial strain can lead to adverse health effects for seniors.
- Without a solution, landlords may risk losing long-term tenants and causing harm to the community.
- Senior citizens might be subjected to financial problems and insecurity in housing.
- Discrimination against fixed-income seniors in the housing market may become more prevalent.
1. Rise of Homelessness
Raising rent for fixed-income seniors can lead to an increase in homelessness among the elderly population. Many seniors already live on a tight budget, and sudden expenses can put them at risk of losing their housing. In addition to expensive medical care, such a situation can put seniors in a difficult position where they may not have the means to find alternative housing. Also, getting alternative housing can be difficult for seniors on fixed incomes who may not have the means to move or be unable to handle the process physically. This can lead to a rise in homelessness among seniors, putting them at risk for physical and emotional distress. In Southern Nevada, reports show that the homeless population among seniors is increasing, with many citing rental increases as a contributing factor. For instance, Esther Stokes, a 74-year-old who has been tenant at the Desert Plaza Apartments since 2004 has faced many hardships. Stokes gets $900 social security benefits monthly, which she uses to pay for her one-bedroom apartment’s rent ($600). However, she is now faced with an unfeasible rent rise to $921 once her lease expires. Esther like many tenants in Nevada claims that, “I am too old to be out in the streets worrying about where I’m going to keep warm and how.” This is the fate of many tenants, hence landlords must consider the potential consequences of raising rents for fixed-income seniors.
2. Negative Health Effects
In addition to the physical hardships of potentially becoming homeless, rent increases for fixed-income seniors can also lead to negative health effects. The emotional and financial strain of being unable to keep up with rental payments can take a toll on seniors. This can lead to an increase in stress and potentially exacerbate existing health conditions. In some cases, losing housing may cause seniors to forgo necessary medical care to afford rental payments. All Nevada landlords must consider the potential health effects of rental increases on fixed-income seniors. You don’t want to be the reason for an elderly citizen to lose their home. Let us take care of our senior community members by considering their financial limitations.
3. Loss of Long-Term Tenants
Raising rent for fixed-income seniors can also have negative consequences for landlords. When faced with a rental increase, many fixed-income seniors may be unable to afford the new payments and may be forced to move out. This can lead to a loss of long-term tenants for the landlord, as well as potentially causing harm to the community. A good case is Southern Nevada, where senior housing is scarce and in high demand, forcing seniors to compete for limited options and potentially leading to rental increases. Without a solution, landlords may risk losing valuable long-term tenants and causing harm to the elderly. Also, when seniors are forced to move due to rental increases, it can disrupt their routines and social connections. This can negatively affect their mental and emotional well-being as they navigate a new living situation. Therefore, landlords must find a solution that considers the needs of fixed-income seniors to maintain long-term tenants and preserve the stability of the community.
4. Insecurity in Housing
In addition to the potential for homelessness, rental increases for fixed-income seniors can also lead to insecurity in housing. Seniors may constantly be worried about being able to afford their current living situation or potentially having to move due to rental increases. This can lead to stress and uncertainty, making it harder for them to plan for their future. In addition, constantly searching for new housing or being unsure of one’s living situation can disrupt seniors’ routines and social connections. Landlords need to consider the emotional toll that rental increases can have on fixed-income seniors and find solutions that will provide them with a secure living situation.
Raising lease payments for fixed-income seniors can also be seen as discrimination. These seniors may already face financial challenges, and the added burden of rental increases can further limit their housing options. This can violate the Fair Housing Act and leave landlords open to legal consequences. Southern Nevada also has a growing senior population, making it even more important for landlords to consider the needs of this community and ensure they are not being discriminated against. Let’s work together to provide secure, affordable housing options for our senior community members. Nobody should be denied housing based on their income or age.
Conclusion Landlords need to consider the potential consequences of rental increases for fixed-income seniors. Raising rental payments can lead to homelessness, adverse health effects, loss of long-term tenants, insecurity in housing, and even discrimination. Let’s work together to find solutions to provide secure and affordable housing options for our senior community members. In Southern Nevada and across the country, we must prioritize the needs of our fixed-income senior population