Rental market shrinks in Killeen as local landlords sell properties

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 6:31 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Finding a place to live is hard for a lot of people and it is becoming harder for those who need help paying the rent.

Now, a lot of landlords are selling properties, which is shrinking the rental market.

A mother of four in Killeen, Sarah Latimore, said that is putting more of a burden on her as she tries to find housing while also trying to secure a green card. She is a German native who just got out of what she called abusive relationship.

“It’s a horrible feeling not to be able to provide for your kids,” said Latimore.

She is trying to secure the green card so she can be issued a social security card. But that process is taking a lot of time.

“Without this paperwork they have to require, you’re not going to get your social so fast, and without a social you can’t rent,” said Latimore.

The only way she can get a place of her own at this point is through the Housing Choice Voucher Program Section 8.

But getting that help seems nearly impossible now.

“What we’re lacking right now is landlords,” said Carmen Lim the director of the Central Texas Council of Government’s Housing Division.

And the options for those who qualify are shrinking. Now, there is a plea to get more landlords on board.

“A lot of owners are coming in, buying properties, flipping them and our tenants, unfortunately, are being forced out of their units,” said Lim.

In Killeen the housing program is on pause. Lim’s organization, which covers seven counties, cannot open up its wait list until the end of the month.

“The priority is to get our homeless families housed and with assistance,” said Lim.

So, for people like Latimore, staying with a friend is nearly her only option.

“I’m not going to sit here and be ignorant to the fact that they probably struggle with providing everybody (on) Section 8,” Latimore said.

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