SCOTTSDALE — “65-year-old mom and 20-year-old daughter,” laughs Jordan Barclay. “It should be a sitcom.”
For months, this has been the reality of Barclay.
“My mom and I share a queen size bed with my big cat. I mean that’s pretty sad,” Barclay says.
The two live in a single room inside an Extended Stay Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“[It] looks like an apartment complex but also like a hostel,” she says. “We have been here since September and it is difficult to find a new place.”
Barclay says they cannot afford apartments that require first and last month rent deposits. During their extended stay, their current rent is $710.43 per week. For one month, it’s $2,841.72.
A year ago, Barclay paid $2,350 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom rental house in the valley. They lived there for five years.
“In June, we got a notice that we had to get out by August 31, and we couldn’t find anything in the time frame, and we ended up here,” says Barclay.
“I think she may also be lucky enough to be able to afford to stay in an extended-stay hotel,” says Mark Stapp, Fred E. Taylor Professor of Real Estate WP Carey School of Business Arizona State University.
Stapp says Barclay’s situation is worsening in the Valley, classified as a group of “working poor”.
“These are people who do have jobs, but the cost of living for them is beyond what they can afford,” Stapp says.
He calls this current housing climate an “affordability crisis”.
“They spend more than 50%, or 50%, of their income on housing. It really only takes one small thing for them to sink to the bottom and not be able to afford housing,” says Stapp.
Stapp says there is no simple solution.
“It’s going to be difficult to get us out of this situation because it’s taking so long to add more inventory to the market.”
For now, the mother-daughter duo is forced to be patient.
“We’re just waiting for the market to go down,” Barclay says.
According to Stapp, from an economic perspective, this is a bigger concern for our community.
He says it’s harder to attract employees when it’s not sustainable to live in the valley.
“I know people are in much worse situations,” Barclay says. “So it’s not the worst and we have a roof over our heads and we’re safe.”