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ENCORE: Tips From Idaho Housing Experts As Renters Face Hardship

David Staats
Idaho Statesman

This interview originally aired Mary 28, 2020. 

[Idaho Matters is working on a new series about growth and affordability in the Treasure Valley, and we want to share your story. Here's how to get in touch.]

When the coronavirus pandemic hit and left thousands of Americans out of work, one question kept popping up: what about rent? How can tenants pay for their housing when they’re out of work, especially when some of the hardest-hit industries are low-wage jobs?

We wanted to hear from you about what you’ve been facing during coronavirus. We heard from several mom-and-pop landlords who have been able to be flexible with their tenants, but also from dozens of tenants whose landlords — particularly corporate landlords — have been less forgiving. 

One of those tenants is Ann Snelgrove, a student who has been expected to pay rent on time and in full since the beginning of this crisis despite people like her being out of work. She’s had to dip into her entire savings to make rent the past couple of months. “I think it’s just frustrating being under this big rental company because you’re just one person,” she said. “I’ve been paying my rent every month just because I’m scared. I don’t really need to deal with legal stuff right now in the middle of a global pandemic.” 

So, we wanted to talk with Idaho experts in landlord-rental law and housing security, especially as it relates to renting during coronavirus. Joining Idaho Matters is Ali Rabe, Executive Director of Jesse Tree, and Alison Brace, legal coordinator at the Intermountain Fair Housing Council and a professor in the landlord-tenant Fair Housing Clinic at Concordia Law School in Boise. 

As COVID-19 cases spread through the U.S. and Idaho, we’re committed to keeping you updated and informed. You can get updated info on cases, closures and how to stay healthy at any time on our Coronavirus news blog.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters

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Molly Wampler is a newsroom intern at Boise State Public Radio. Originally from Berkeley, California, she just graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Washington state. There, Molly worked for her university's newspaper but is stoked to try her hand at and learn all there is to learn about radio journalism.
Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.