I got approved for my apartment back in January and figured it would be easy to get Colin an apartment before I moved. After all we had so much time.
The first spot we looked at was my own building since it’s being built as affordable housing. A market rent apartment there is $840/m which is doable. Sadly they updated the page and now electricity is not included. The local hydro company informed me it would be between $100 or $200 a month, which he cannot afford.
Then we moved our view to the co-op behind us. I’ve got friends there and the price was reasonable at $894/m. It even included all utilities and basic cable. We went to pick up an application and discovered the rent was just over $900/m now and going up more in June. Colin sadly informed me he just couldn’t afford that. He’d be left with just under $200/m to buy groceries and his bus pass. And there’s no way he could afford internet or a cellphone, which aren’t technically necessities but are needed to communicate.
He’s involved with four agencies now and got a chance at a room. It was $850/m and included meals. He agreed to take a look, hoping it would be as big as his room here because then he could keep all his computers. He’s got a computer for every Windows that has been produced since he was born. This kid is a born geek.
The room turned out to be in a nursing home and had two other beds in there with no privacy curtains. He would not have the room for any of his belongings, other than some clothes, and would be living in close quarters with two strangers. He turned it down and we all agreed it wasn’t a good fit.
I figure, with four agencies, he should find something soon. Which is good seeing as all I’ve found in his price range is a bachelor in a really crummy building, complete with free range roaches.
I left a message with the building I’m moving into asking for an estimated completion date or tentative move in date but haven’t heard anything yet. I’m going to need to give two months notice here so the earliest I can move at this point is July 1st. I’m sure all of us who are moving there are in the same boat.
I can’t help but feeling like we’re falling through the cracks, especially Colin. I’ve found several amazing looking basement apartments for under $700/m but one agency he’s working with will not assist him (or anyone else) with basement apartments. They’re offering to pay his last month’s rent and putting $200 towards moving expenses so it’s not like we can just say, “Nah, they aren’t worth it.”
But tomorrow’s the start of a new work week and there’s two agencies now who are looking for supportive housing for him (on top of the other searches). With any luck they’ll find something amazing for him soon and we can start our packing and letting go… of our apartment… of belongings that just don’t fit… and of living with another person. Let’s just hope those cracks are small and Colin gets a place before he falls through.