LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — Rising rent prices are taking a financial and emotional toll on families around Tampa Bay.
A local veteran tells 8 On Your Side he may be without a place to live in a matter of weeks.
John Bellicourt lives in a one-bedroom condo in Largo, for at least a little while longer.
“Landlord called me on Monday and said she wants to put the apartment for sale,” he said.
The Navy veteran lost his job in December. He pays $850 for the fully-furnished unit he has rented for 16 years.
Now, he’s in the market for a new job and an apartment he can afford with the $1,250 social security check he receives each month.
“I called around yesterday, it’s anywhere from $1,200 to $1,400 for a one bedroom apartment if you can find ’em,” Bellicourt said.
He knows he’s not the only one struggling. Recent numbers from the National Coalition of Low Income Housing shows it would take approximately three minimum wage jobs to afford and average two-bedroom apartment in some local counties.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Tampa is $1,600, according to Zumper National Rent Report.
Bellicort has to be out by February.
He’s looking into loans from the Department of Veteran Affairs and continuing his search, hoping to find an affordable place to call home.
“I have no car, all I can do is carry a suitcase of my stuff with me because I can’t take anything else. I don’t have any place to put it,” he said.