Rising Rent Costs Affect Disabled - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Rising Rent Costs Affect Disabled

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A story we ran Tuesday about a 79-year-old woman forced to go back to work due to her rising rent costs-- sparked an outrage among many viewers.

More than 50 people commented on the story on our Facebook page and the story was shared over 100 times.

But one man wants to keep the discussion going.

"Basically everything is just spinning," says Paul Crownover.

It started in 1996 and progressed.

In 2008, he gave up his career at Microsoft and has been unable to work since.

"I'm pretty much almost entirely bed-ridden and then I'll get four days maybe if I'm lucky a week or so where I have good days," says Crownover.

Today is a good day for Paul... and he has more of them because he is fortunate to live in not only an affordable apartment...

but one that fits his needs.

"In a 55 plus building, you have quieter people," says Crownover.

Paul lives strictly off of his disability income...

and worries about huge rent increases.

"It is less expensive to raise your rents to cover your expenses. Not gouge because there's so many people coming to Bismarck because of the oil boom. It is less expensive not to have turnover than to have people having to move out," says Crownover.

He also says there needs to be more affordable housing.

"If you are one of those people that are fortunate that you are a little bit above that dollar limit that is a bit of a double-edged sword because it's still not enough to get by on but you don't qualify for any housing assistance," says Crownover.

For now, Paul is happy living in this community-like apartment...

but he hopes to see change on the horizon.


Dwight Barden, Executive Director of Burleigh County Housing says agencies are doing what they can to develop affordable andaccessiblee housing...but he says it's still very limited in the state.

He says Congress does adjust the qualification dollar amount annually for affordable housing but because of our economy, it's not enough.

Barden says it takes awhile to get something like that changed quickly enough to take care of the needs.

With the legislative session coming up, Barden says they hope legislators will continue to support the Housing Incentive Fund.

"This last session they funded about 36 million dollars and those funds were used up within months of access to those funds so the need is still out there. Those types of programs hopefully will continue so we can help those people," says Dwight Barden, Exec. Director, Burleigh County Housing.


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