Jessica Castro in September moved herself, her daughter and her son, ages 10 and 9, into a one-bedroom apartment, sacrificing elbowroom to save on rent.
“What I need is a three-bedroom,” said Castro, 36, but it wasn’t in her budget. Even two-bedroom units were beyond her means as she worked 40 hours a week plus a second part-time job.
She now frets over how long her kids will tolerate the tight squeeze.
Thousands of renters across Lancaster County can identify with Castro. They’re priced out of decent, right-sized housing and settle for cramped, substandard quarters.
Experts warn that the shortage of affordable units is at the point that working people will leave the county to find a place to live.