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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:40 PM
 
Location: pennsylvania
3 posts, read 2,116 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi, I am a single mother of three children. I have a gross monthly income of around $1500-$1600, and that is IF I get the little amount of child support I am due each month..

I currently live in public housing, and I HATE IT. I have been here three years, and I have never wanted out more badly in my life... Just when I was sure I FINALLY had enough to afford a monthly rent on my own.. I come to find out the 3x rule... does anybody know if there is a way around this?? Almost everywhere I inquire goes by the rule.. I need three times the rent in income.. that would leave me in the $400-$500 a month range.. which would be fine if it were just me! Being that I have three kids, I need a two bedroom at LEAST, if not a three bedroom (what we are currently required in public housing).. the cheapest I have found for a 2 bedroom in the area I am looking has been $600.. and that one place I found was teeny tiny, and on the third floor, and not really safe in my opinion for children... I recently applied for a home that is $750 a month, which I know I can afford seeing as I have assistance for practically everything (food, child care, heating), but I am terrified they will deny me.... I make a car payment each month that is around $240, and I go to school and get a pretty hefty refund each semester from student loans, which I typically use towards insurance and other "luxury" type bills such as cable/internet.. which I could do without if I had to.. I am just 100% ready to move out of public housing and out of the not so great school district.... Getting a roommate for me is not really an option with three kids, and obviously a room in a house is not an option either.. what other options do I have? Are there ANY landlords who are willing to rent to me with just double the rent?? What if they know I am expecting pretty hefty refunds throughout the school year as well as tax return time?? I am absolutely desperate.. it is getting to the point I am not just unhappy here, but I don't feel safe most of the time either.. what if I get a co-signer? Anything??
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:57 PM
 
Location: pennsylvania
3 posts, read 2,116 times
Reputation: 16
I also wanted to add that while there are complexes considered "low income" which require you to make under a certain amount, those places have anywhere from a three month to a two year long waiting list.. and THEN the rent is STILL 650-750 a month for a 2-3 bedroom (and typically if it has ANYTHING to do with HUD/government credits, etc. it is going to require me to have a three bedroom with three children and one adult....) so I do not understand how even a "low income" place is going to require a single person with children to make 1950-2250 a month, assuming they go by the 3x rule also.... it just seems like most rentals are set up for two people with an income rather than one.. so how do single mothers do it without section 8 or pubic family housing??
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:45 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
29,127 posts, read 28,155,662 times
Reputation: 36744
I don't have a solution, but the only thing I can think of is a private rental. No apartment building with a management group will want you, but you know that. A co-signer would help. Landlords just want their money and for you to not trash their place. You will need a security deposit. Nobody is going to bend that far.
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Old 07-13-2017, 07:26 PM
 
Location: pennsylvania
3 posts, read 2,116 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
I don't have a solution, but the only thing I can think of is a private rental. No apartment building with a management group will want you, but you know that. A co-signer would help. Landlords just want their money and for you to not trash their place. You will need a security deposit. Nobody is going to bend that far.
I have a security deposit... I am not expecting that to be waived... I just don't have enough for my income each month to be three times that of the rent amount.. like say the rent is $700... they are expecting each month I should be bringing in 2100... I just don't make that.. I make enough to pay monthly and then some.. just not three times.. I don't know anybody in my position who does make that much.. but I will jsut keep looking I suppose.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:36 AM
 
9 posts, read 5,442 times
Reputation: 17
Good Morning:


I deeply empathize with your situation, as I do any mother who is working to make a better and safer life for herself and her children. The public housing of today is not like it was 50 years ago, and I commend you for not wanting to be complacent and make public housing your "lifelong home."


Here is what I can tell you about renting in your situation: First of all, based on the financial data you shared, I honestly don't think you can afford to rent a house, even at $700.00 a month. Most people who rent houses are responsible for ALL the utilities, and even with "help", the cost of utilities can be prohibitive. There are water, sewer, and trash bills to pay -- could you afford an extra $100 to $150 a month for those? Harrisburg water bills are costly, and you are talking about four people using water. I've known city renters with families whose water bills are well over $150 a month, and these people are not wasting water. And currently, we have no financial assistance for lower income people to help with water, sewer, and trash bills.


Secondly, there are landlords (private), who might rent to you, but if your credit is not stellar (700 credit score range), they may require up to six months' worth of rent/security deposit in advance.


I would suggest that you contact Harrisburg Fair Housing Council. They are good people, and often have a list of landlords who would consider renting to you in your situation.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Central Pennsylvania
68 posts, read 50,265 times
Reputation: 200
Not sure if the OP is still around, but for her or others in a similar situation, the way to go is to find a private landlord, generally through Craigslist. This way you're dealing with a single person who can make decisions on their own, not a company bound by mathematical formulas. Be prepared with paperwork showing the assistance you get that off-balances the lower income and lots of references. Chances are good you'll eventually find someone willing to rent to you.
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