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Renters struggle to pay rent, worry about future rent payments

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The first of June is vastly approaching, which means rent payments are too.

Renters across Kansas have been struggling to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic stifling the economy. One Kansas resident lost her job at the start of the pandemic. She now has to move out of her home due to her loss in wages.

“I have about $200 in my bank account right now, rent is due right around the corner, as well as all of our bills,” said Lindsey Abegg, Kansas renter. “I am a single mom taking care of two children, so you know, that’s not a lot, that’s not a lot to live on.”

Business owners have faced challenges too. The Rusty Nail Restaurant and Bar had to close its doors after eight months of its debut due to COVID-19. That’s when co-owner Kristy Ivy says she and her partner had to come up with a plan.

“That was one of our biggest worries because of course, that’s one of our biggest expenses every month,” said Ivy. Fortunately, our investor who owns this building here was very gracious and he actually loaned us the money towards our rent, and he just tacked it on to our next few months. So we’re not drowning under that big payment every month.” 

The Apartment Association of Greater Wichita says many tenants were able to successfully pay rent for the months of April and May, but worry that renters may have a harder time with future payments.

The Association is hopeful the Heroes Act will pass to provide renters assistance.

“There are concerns with that as well, with payments being delayed, people being promised payments and it just not coming through as quickly as they think, so it is definitely a concern, and I don’t think we’ll be comfortable for a long time.” 

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