With inflation higher this July compared to July of 2021 sitting at 8.5%, experts said it’s better than expected, but residents in Erie are feeling the sting of renting homes and apartments.

Here is more on how inflation is impacting residents and the help they are receiving.

Residents in Erie are being forced to seek other housing options as rent is a driving force of the 8.5% inflation. Meeting rent each month is becoming a challenge for Erie residents as inflation is 8.5% higher this July than July of 2021.

“It’s harder to rent right now. Harder to get people who can actually afford to move in,” said Patricia Weber, Property Manager of Boston Store.

The property manager of the Boston Store Place Apartments said that a one bedroom apartment has increased from $525 to $545.

She recalls the lack of people being able to pay rent causes a chain reaction in maintenance for the apartments.

“People are having a hard time paying their rent. Jobs are out there, but again it’s not the job they need to pay the rent. So those are a few of the little things that are affecting us. It affects us because we can’t get parts to fix to fill those apartments,” said Weber.

Greater Erie Community Action Committee (GECAC) is also noticing that inflation is affecting the residents they assist.

“We have noticed that there has been an increase in individuals who are facing eviction for non-payment of rent,” said Hilda Torres, GECAC, Certified Housing Counselor.

Torres said the majority of people that GECAC assists are on a fixed income and have to decide whether to pay rent, buy groceries, or pay utilities.

GECAC and the property manager of the Boston Store told us how they are helping residents avoid evictions and vacancies.

“To the best of our ability, as long as they’re meeting the program criteria, we would do the best that we can to make sure that they get the funding that they need,” said Torres.

“HANDS has resident resource coordinators. So what these resource coordinators and ourselves here do, we help them contact Saint Martin Center, GECAC — these places that do offer some kind of assistance,” said Weber.

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Torres said inflation is also forcing people to seek utility assistance.