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Louisville renters facing increased prices, beyond what HUD deems as affordable

The Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund says with pandemic relief being phased out, landlords are looking to make up ground.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It's not just home buyers struggling to win what's become a major bidding war for available real estate.

"We certainly did not anticipate what has happened, and how competitive it's been," said Louisville Realtor Jonathan Klunk, with Six Degrees Real Estate. "People don't have the comfort any more to put their house on the market for sale and then find something. You have to find it first."

Louisville renters are feeling the brutal effects of both inflation and landlords raising prices, in an effort to make up ground from the heat of the pandemic.

The Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund (LAHTF) says as pandemic relief has phased out, many Louisville residents are now left looking for a price range that's difficult to find.

"Those landlords who had put everything on hold -- they're now able to move forward, so families are feeling the crux of that," LAHTF Executive Director Christie McCravy said.

McCravy gave an example of a teacher and Newburg neighborhood mother she knows. McCravy said the woman is struggling to find a place to live after her landlord opted to pursue selling the property he's long rented out.

"She, because of her kids and what they're doing, can only afford about $1,200 per month rent, but trying to find a unit for that price for a family of three is really difficult in the Louisville area," McCravy said. "She was really looking in the Fern Creek area and was really not getting anywhere. It's a problem we're seeing more and more."

WHAS11 looked through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) data. Based on Louisville's median income, HUD considers affordable rent for a 1-bedroom in the city to be $800 a month at this point in 2022. HUD puts 2-bedrooms at $960, and a 3-bedroom at $1,279.

McCravy said the going rate in many cases right now isn't close to that. She said this ultimately reinforces the need for more affordable housing development in Louisville.

In the meantime, she recommends renters to start looking months in advance of their renewal notices.

Rental site Rent.com shows the price for a 1-bedroom in Louisville is around 20% higher compared to 2021.

Kentucky home values have increased 15.1% in the last year, according to Zillow. Realtor.com reports houses are flying off the market about twice as fast as this time in 2020.

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