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‘Out of options’: Bend woman struggling to find affordable apartment to rent

'I am a little concerned. I don't want to live in my car.'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Jennifer Reid and her granddaughter, Layla, are looking for something many others in Bend are searching for: a new place to live. And not by choice.

"Hopefully we'll find something -- huh, Layla?” Reid said to her baby granddaughter Monday. 

Reid, who has lived in Bend since 2005, must leave her current apartment in northeast Bend by the end of the month because a family member of her landlord is moving in.

Layla is raised by Reids daughter in law, but Reid baby sits and takes care of Layla often.

Reid said she has called at least 10 to 15 property rentals in town, and can't find anything she can afford.

"The fact that you have nowhere to live, that's scary. I've never had this problem before,” Reid said.

Reid is usually a medical assistant, but has been unemployed during the pandemic.

She has enough money to pay her current rent, but can't find anything in the same $1,300 monthly price range.

"I'd say it's worse,” Reid said, comparing her apartment search 18 months ago to now. “I lucked into this one, and it wasn't so bad back then -- but now it's impossible to find anything."

One property management business told NewsChannel 21 they have a waitlist as high as 60 people, and even stopped adding people to it.

Gretchen Stauffer, operations officers with PLUS Property Management, said they don’t use a waitlist system. However, she said they’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people looking for a place to live.

"We have a lot of applicants who are looking for new places to be and who are panicking,” Stauffer said. 

Stauffer said the combination of new people moving to town, investors selling properties and year-round properties turning into vacation rentals has made the market tough.

"People are staying put, because they know it's difficult to find other properties to move to,” Stauffer said. 

And now, the statewide moratorium on evictions ends June 30, so that could have an impact as well.

As for Reid, she said, "I'm out of options at this point. I am a little concerned. I don't want to live in my car.” 

Reid is also considering leaving town, as well as resorting to her car, but she's not sure how she cant take care of Layla that way.

"She'll have to sit in the car with me, I guess," with. I laugh only because if I don't I'll cry,” Reid said while fighting tears. “And like I said, I don't want to have to move, because she's my happiness right now."

Reid knows there’s many others in her situation, and offers a bit of advice.

"The way I think to help this is to start a conversation, spread the word,” Reid said. “Let people know that there are people in this world that will help. You've just got to get that word out."

Central Oregon / Local News / News / Real Estate / Top Stories
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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.



        1. Really? You misspelled butthead, by the way. Simple, eh? She’s a grandmother. She’s caring for a grandbaby. That child didn’t come into this world due to her choices, but she’s caring for her. But to you, everything is simple. Black and white. Getting evicted due to no fault of her own? Oh well. Getting evicted so the landlord’s deadbeat relative can live there? Too bad. She’s paid her rent on time, she’s caring for a grandchild, but hey, she should just move. Simple. Now multiply her by 500. Or 1000. Because that’s what’s going on. But don’t worry, everyone can just move.

        2. I agree. Can’t afford it move the hell away. Who cares if you lived here forever. You don’t deserve to live here. You tool. What pronoun do you go by? Shim? Herm???

    1. Because it’s not an isolated case (why is this news).

      And your lack of sympathy, compassion seem to be lacking. Along with a few others and their comments in regards to this “story”.

      1. Eric you are the biggest hypocrite and liar here. I don’t believe for a second with the hatred you spew that you would have the intestinal fortitude to actually help someone. Your a coward and nothing that comes out of your worthless mouth holds any bearing.

  1. I have heard that if you have lived in a rental for 12 months and paid your rent through those months, a landlord can only evict you if they are selling or demolishing the property (or something similar.) They cannot ask you to leave to move a family member in. It is against the law. A neighbor in the same situation told me this. Legal aid might be able to answer this question.

      1. You folks are genius! I am sure that relying on the internet for legal advice of any sort is a great idea! Especially when it comes to tenant/landlord law! Ask all of those internet gurus living in tents of empire!

    1. And that is part of the law package that exacerbated the problem. That group of laws tied the hands of landlords to run their businesses which is exactly why myself and many others sold our rentals to new owners who had no interest in the rental market. Oregon laws that were out into place to “protect” tenants actually had the opposite effect and dropped the number of rentals considerably down. Another example of Oregon’s poorly written laws creating a situation worse. I would even have a little understanding had they not been notified of these unintended consequences prior to pushing these laws through.

    2. You have heard incorrectly. Senate bill 608 says if you have lived in a unit for more than 12 months, there are only 4 reasons a landlord can evict you aside from typical tenant based rules (like nonpayment of rent, damage, etc Covid restrictions notwithstanding). They are 1) selling the property, 2) Demolishing (removal from residential use), 3) significant renovation, and 4) the landlord or family member moving in.

      Also, if they use any of those 4 excuses, and they own more than 4 units, they have to also pay you 1 months rent moving fee.

    3. There are a few reasons including the sale of a home, demolition/remodel, or relative moving in. I do believe she has until Sept. 30th tho under the new changes. Oregon Housing Authority downtown might be a good contact for more info.

    1. Also thank your California neighbor who sold their crap house and bought site unseen fir cash here cuz it was so cheap. But don’t worry. Crash coming. I can smell it. Should be fun.

    2. Especially ones purchased in opportunity zones as part of Trump Tax Cut™️. That’s working wonderfully for anyone with asset appreciation problems. Just follow the money.

  2. Good luck finding something seems like if it’s not luxury apartments like enscena, the new ones across from 🦅 landing property manager groups aren’t interested in affordable housing. I may be wrong but isn’t there just one or two affordable housing complexes in the whole town?

    1. Actually there are about 11 low income “affordable housing” complexes in bend and about the same in redmond, 3 in prineville, 2 in madras and 1 in lapine.

      1. That is true, but if you check their websites you’ll see that there is waiting list of 2-3 years. Some have closed waiting lists due to such high demand.

  3. Let me get this straight; in the last 30 days, she only managed to call between 10-15 places about a new rental? I found 5 in that range in less than an hour. Way to get punked again KTVZ!

      1. Madras is a long ways away, if she has work here. But yes Prineville is close; so is La Pine and Redmond. Just because you work in Beverly Hills doesn’t mean you get to live there. Bend is becoming the same way. If city government thinks that’s not a good thing, they’re going to need to get more aggressive in seeing that lower-cost housing is available.

        1. “Reid is usually a medical assistant, but has been unemployed during the pandemic.” I find that odd as most medical outfits are hiring now that covid restrictions are lifting.

  4. Thank you for your courage to share your story, which sadly is similar to so many right now. Your granddaughter is blessed to have you. I’m very sad to see such a lovely human go through this alone. Tough choices ahead for many across the country and sadly the housing shortages are not just here. Sadly, the shelters are so badly needed and kind folks like this little family are not the exception in homelessness. The stigma of this experience clouds the reality of good kind people falling through the cracks. May your story shine a light on the difficulties experienced by many. God Bless.

  5. It’s not about finding places to rent. You are also competing against the demand for affordable places. By the time you find a post, even if it’s within the first hour, there’s at least a dozen already that have filled out an application for it. There’s also the fees. Some are refundable; some aren’t. So not only are you fighting for that first spot, you’re also shelling out $40-$50 per application. For two adults in a household, that’s $80-$100 per rental place. There has been an influx of people that have moved into the area too. A lot of property management places have had no listings available a lot of times.

  6. So, have not worked during the pandemic and can not find a place to live in your budget? Why? You are a trained medical assistant and there is a shortage of MA’s in Central Oregon. I “goggled” openings and St. Charles has about 600 openings in various areas of expertise as well as most medical offices in Central Oregon. I’m sure you not working has nothing to do with the generous unemployment benefits and the federal bump. Seriously, what does a MA make? Google says in this area about $19-24 dollars an hour. If that isn’t enough than I know the house keepers in Sunriver make $25 bucks an hour. In my travels to Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Safeway, Albertsons, Sportsman, etc, etc, they ALL have large signs saying they are hiring. Why not get a job and you could pay your rent. I’m am not shedding a tear for you because I work 60 hours a week so maybe you should consider working at least 40.

  7. The selfish condescending people on the comments here make me sad for our country. She is taking care of her baby grandchild. Maybe the parents are not able to care for the child but live in the area and she doesn’t want to separate the baby from them. Starting from scratch in a new city as a grandmother with a baby is so hard.

    As for everyone saying she should go back to work – prices for childcare during the pandemic went up significantly. It is likely her salary couldn’t pay for both childcare and rent. This story shows how dysfunctional and cruel a country the US is and how we as a society do not value children. In Canada and Europe caregivers of babies are given support from the state and would never be in this position.

      1. I feel so bad for her. A lot of brain geniuses here think it’s realistic for a MA to pay rent and full time childcare. The state should step in to help them. I hope someone at an agency reached out

  8. Hope she finds a place to live. Consider getting roommates as I went that route when my finances did not match my aspirations. Yeah, not ideal, but worked until I could get a place on my own.

  9. This should be a lesson for young adults. First of all family planning means before you hop into bed and make a baby. Things are a lot worse now than yesteryear. And parents with kids old enough to have kids of their own, are failing their children by not educating them on the subject of parenthood and what responsibilities it comes with. Being a grandparent is a gift, not a responsibility. And nothing irks me more than someone exploiting a child for their own personal wants or needs.

  10. Why is this news? Everybody knows housing in Bend is expensive. If you want more affordable housing, move out of Bend. VERY simple solution. Nobody is forcing you to pay some of the highest rents in the NW.

    We won’t buy another house in Bend. Not because we can’t afford it but because the market is overpriced and we can get better value elsewhere. We love Bend but not enough to pay $1,000,000 for a run of the mill house.

  11. WOW! Unreal how cold some of you people are. God bless this woman for caring for her granddaughter and trying to make it all work out. I’d ask to see the ID of the supposed family that is moving in. But this story is one of many which is why it is important news. We should all care that people who are trying to do right are getting kicked to the curb. We have had several well to do friends struggle to find housing as this town has gone nuts. One is a native family of Bend and one has lived here for 30 years. They said these PM companies just keep taking the $50 application fees no matter how many people they have on a wait list. Then they charge you for a background check etc. How is anyone without means supposed to survive in this climate? Sad reality we are living in.

    1. Jimmy – first off, I love your sausage dude. Great stuff. As it relates to all the comments and the story – 1) it’s sad and we should all feel bad for this individual, 2) life sucks. I grew up poor, as many of us have. Get off your ass, work hard and chart your own course, 3) where is the daughter/son in this situation? Again, I feel bad but there are plenty of places that I couldn’t afford to live in my life and will never be able to live – this is a simple fact of life. She’s lived in this place for 15 years at $1,380? Has the rent changed? I think the landlord has been solid here and 805sean has posted links of the sorry state that we all live in. Many of the comments here are very polarizing – but at the end of the day, we’re all placed in life altering predicaments, no? Can she get a job? Yes. Who will pay for the child while she works? Good question – we all have to deal with this stuff as part of life. Is this the #1 story that KTVZ should show last night? Hell no. We’ve all been through this and if you haven’t, then you are lucky.

  12. There used to be affordable rentals in Prineville, those days gone. Too many people from Bend and Portland moving here. Then there are all of the out of state construction workers imported by the Facebook Data Ranch. And of course, the real estate speculators from California are buying all they can from the motivated local sellers. This is just a continuation of the invasion by out of state immigrants on the Oregon Trail that screwed everything up when they got here.

  13. Yet we have in Central Oregon people with 55,000 square foot houses 35,000 square foot houses . There is a revolution coming similar to the The Chinese Communist Revolution . The 1 percenters are trying together us to fight and divide based on race and sexual identity . Scrooge Mcduck better wake up before he gets cooked

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