On Apartment Hunting

I’ve talked many times on this blog about how certain things are much more difficult when you’re a person living with a disability. One of those things is apartment hunting. What I’m about to say will all be framed from my particular perspective. I can’t speak to what our entire community experiences because I know the hardships vary greatly depending on our individual experiences. I don’t use any kind of assistance aids yet and I don’t have a caregiver.

Trying to find an apartment where I live has become nearly impossible. I read the other day that the average cost of a one bedroom apartment is $3000 a month. Yes, you read that correctly. I have what’s considered a good job and it won’t come anywhere near to covering that. You basically have to be making a six figure salary to afford rent now. And forget being able to buy anything.

Then add in trying to find an apartment on the 1st floor because you’re unable to go up and down stairs. Super hard. And you know what else? A lot of complexes charge more for a 1st floor unit. Then, because I’m not physically able to carry my laundry to a laundry room, I need one a washer/dryer in the unit (also an added cost usually). After that, the complex needs to have close parking. Then, it needs to have breaks in the curb so I can actually get up onto the sidewalk to be able to get to my apartment (you’d be surprised how many places don’t have that). The toilet can’t be too low otherwise I can’t get off of it. The shower knob has to be easy enough for me to be able to turn the water on and off.

At first glance, that may not look like that much but let me tell you, it is. Just the first 2 are so incredibly hard to find. And throw in the cost factor now and it’s nearly impossible.

Living with a disability makes everything harder, even the seemingly “small” things. It makes the already hard things even harder. Then you add a pandemic in there and it can feel totally unmanageable. It’s certainly been hard managing it lately.

Call me naïve but I never thought I would be at a place where I couldn’t find somewhere to live in the area I’ve lived for my entire adult life. I knew I would probably never be able to buy anything but to not even be able to afford rent now is just mind blowing. Especially after how hard it is to find a place to begin with. And I’m not 25 or in college anymore so roommate situations are pretty hard to come by too. So many of us still have to live with our parents just to be able to save money because rents are too much. Or people have significant others or are married and live together.

I have so many things to be grateful for. I’m in a much better situation than so many people. People who have families. Who don’t have a “Plan B”. I just wish everything wasn’t so hard all the time. Or that I was better at dealing with the hard stuff.

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