Eye on Energy: Elderly Pushed Out by Rising Rent - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Eye on Energy: Elderly Pushed Out by Rising Rent

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Rent prices in Williston are driving out seniors --- many of them fearing homelessness by the end of the summer.

In this week's Eye on Energy, Jennifer Kleen spoke with residents who received a rental notice almost three times what they had been paying.

Williston has the highest rent in the nation.

That was according to an Apartment Guide survey in February which found that a 700-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Williston could cost more than $2,000 a month, higher than New York and Los Angeles.

(Noreen Sergent, Elm Estates Resident) "Everybody in town cannot afford the rent."

Those statistics are getting closer to home for residents of FM Parkway and Elm Estates.

(Shirley Kilgore, FM Parkway Resident) "Somebody bought the trailer park and raised our lot rent from $300 up to $850. I'm a senior citizen and I can't pay $850."

Residents of the two parks received this notice in June: a lot in Elm Estates will now cost $750 a month, FM Parkway $850.

The notice says a resident can lock the price with a 12 month lease, but it's dated 2013, which causes residents to question what will happen in November of this year.

(Noreen Sergent, Elm Estates Resident) "If we can't afford what they say they're going to charge in November and that's the same amount they charge for a one bedroom apartment, we will be homeless."

(Linda Morgan, Elm Estates Resident) "Right now, I'm seeing myself, if it goes to $1500, I'm going to have to be living in my car."

Option number three on the notice says that if you sell your mobile home, it must be removed from the park.

(Linda Morgan, Elm Estates Resident) "If we sell our house, it has to be moved. There's no place to move them."

(Noreen Sergent, Elm Estates Resident) "It's between $3,000-$5,000 to remove your trailer and take it too the dump and you have to strip it down. And how many of our elderly can do that? There's just no way."

With dozens of questions, and few answers from management or ownership, Noreen and her neighbors are contacting state leadership, taking one day at a time.

(Noreen Sergent, Elm Estates Resident) "We're not living anymore because we're having to pay so much for rent that you just survive. I don't know any other way to put it. We just survive."

The highest rent in the nation, at what cost?

In Williston, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.

A spokesperson for Prairie Property Management out of Fargo said no comment was available at this time about the parks in Williston.

 

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