WACO, TX — Finding an apartment in Waco has proven difficult as the demand has increased in short and long-term rental properties.
Many believe it's due to the influx in those moving to Waco with big-name companies like Amazon, living in Central Texas is being sought after.
Westchester Apartments in Waco don't have any availability in homes or apartments causing a lengthy waitlist for those searching.
"Unfortunately, most folks that are calling right now need it right now or within the next 30 days," Property manager Erica Dennis said.
Dennis started to see an increase about 8 months ago, she didn't think it would create such a problem but this has been a great and bad thing all at the same time.
"The influx of people coming from not just out of state but folks selling their homes the shift in real-estate right now has relied had an impact on the apartment community," Dennis said.
The pandemic has also affected the housing market, as we've all watched prices skyrocket so have apartments. Jackie Hestilow with Bentwood Reality says it's a waiting game for a lot of their potential tenants.
"We would have 5 to 6 applications per one home or one property," Hestilow said.
Thankfully, rental assistance has helped the tenant and owner with ease of pandemic problems that impacted someone's income. Fewer evictions happened because of the assistance but this causes less availability for those looking.
'It's been a relief for a lot of the owners for us to be able to call them and say 'hey I know your tenant is not paying right now but they have signed up for the process,'" Hestilow said "We do have tenants come in and if they need help, we help them sign up for the process."
The demand for help hasn't stopped since the pandemic began. In fact, many are looking to downsize and find those cheaper apartments since the drop in income. That has been difficult because as the demand increases so does the rent.
"We just encourage them if they are currently in an apartment complex, to talk to their apartment manager about working with them with the cost of the rent," Interim Community Services Director Raynesha Hudnell said.
To qualify, you must be a McLennan county resident, have not already received COVID-19 assistance and make less than 80% of the Waco area median income.
Dennis says even those looking 6 months away should start now.
"If you're out there looking just really start now, if you need it in December start today," Dennis said.