WGXC-90.7 FM

Finding housing with a pet is even more difficult

May 31, 2023 12:45 am

Maria M. Silva reports in the Times Union that it is difficult enough for most people to find an apartment locally, but it is much harder if one has a pet. About 30 percent of renters in Ulster County are paying almost half of their income in rent. In New Paltz, 70 percent of households are rentals, and the average rent increased by 11 percent from 2019 to 2020 during the pandemic. Gina Edinger-Carbonari, executive director of the Ulster County SPCA, said she has seen people making housing decisions based on pets. “Folks who are struggling and have pets, they’re having to make decisions sometimes of ‘Do I feed my pet, or do I feed myself? ’ ‘Am I going to live out of my car with my pet or am I going to go into a shelter? Because the shelter is not going to take my pet.... So it really puts them in a really difficult position because we’re telling them, ‘You have to give up your family member.’” And if one cannot find a home but has a pet they are out of luck too. Currently, no homeless shelters in the Hudson Valley accept people and pets together, said Christine Kim, founder of My Dog Is My Home, a national nonprofit that works to increase access to shelter and housing for people experiencing homelessness and their pets. So finding any place for people and pets to live together is difficult and costly. “It’s pretty defeating,” said Emma, who asked that her last name not be used. “There just needs to be a lot more compassion and understanding and a lot less of this capitalist mindset of like, ‘Oh, there’s demand, let’s hike the prices up $500 more’ because nobody that lives around here works around here anymore.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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