'I feel pushed out': Chapel Hill renter says her rent was due to increase $400 per month

1 June 2022

— Elizabeth Allen currently pays $1,500 for her two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.

The rent at the Morgan Reserve in Chapel Hill was set to increase by $400 per month, to $1,900, for a 12-month lease, Allen said. The single mother has lived in her current apartment with her daughter for six years.

“This is dehumanizing in a way,” Allen said. “I feel pushed out.”

It would be even more expensive to renew with a shorter lease.

She said she wanted to sign a three-month lease, which she said would cost between $4,300 and $4,500 per month. She said if she opted to go month-to-month that rent would cost $9,000 per month.

WRAL News reached out to the property managers at the Morgan Reserve in Chapel Hill, but has yet to hear back.

AparmentList.com showed the overall average rent in Chapel Hill has gone from $1,197 in April 2019 to $1,420 in April 2022.

Raleigh skyline from Boylan Heights bridge. Photo taken May 22, 2021.

“I’ve been a good tenant,” Allen said. “I take care of this apartment. I keep it clean. I pay my rent on time.”

Chapel Hill councilmember Tai Huynh said one issue is a missing middle.

“It’s hard to find housing in general, whether that’s affordable or not,” Huynh said.

Huynh said the town council cannot legally control rent, but town leaders are hoping to increase the housing supply.

“It might not directly or immediately decrease the cost of rent, but it will at least stabilize or decrease the amount by which those rents are increasing,” Huynh said.

Allen told WRAL News she has decided not to re-sign a lease at her current complex.

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