SAN ANTONIO – Rents continue to rise across the San Antonio area and nationally, but wages for many aren’t keeping pace.
Connie Gamboa is disabled and has no job. Her rent has increased by $100 a month.
“I have to be careful, like, how I buy my groceries and how I manage to pay my other bills,” she said.
Rent has increased by an average of 7.2% since last year, according to the latest Consumer Price Index.
That’s creating a challenge for tenants like Eric Hernandez, whose rent also went up about $100 over recent months.
“I’ve been looking around at other places. And places that I could afford three years ago, I can’t really afford now,” Hernandez said.
How much are San Antonians paying? The average for a two-bedroom apartment is $1300, a 14% increase over the past year, according to Rent.com. A one-bedroom is $1,047 on average, a 13% year-over-year bump.
“We’re seeing two-, three-, four-hundred dollar increases,” said Jennifer Gonzalez, executive director for Alamo Community Group.
Her nonprofit, which provides affordable housing for qualified tenants, is seeing increased demand, she said.
Their newest complex is Museum Reach Lofts, and it’s already full, and so are all of their buildings.
Gonzalez sees rising rents are pushing people out.
“They’re moving back in with parents,” she said. “We see a lot of doubling up. In some instances, we’re having to give referrals to Haven for Hope or to some of the other shelters.”
Lower-income individuals and families are hardest hit, Gonzalez said. Their wages don’t keep pace with the rising gas, groceries, utilities and rent costs.
That’s something Bertha Gonzalez knows well.
“I just get paid $10 an hour. It’s very hard. My husband works, but also he does not get paid much. So it’s getting harder and harder,” she said.
Like many economists, Gonzalez sees a sliver of a silver lining -- not that rents will come down, but that the rise will soon begin to slow.