Neighbors report having trouble finding affordable, quality housing in Lancaster County

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- Some people are reportedly having trouble finding quality, affordable housing in Lancaster County. There's a community organization trying to change that.

Lancaster Stands Up does just that; organizers fight for the people of Lancaster.

They recently went door-to-door throughout the city. While talking to neighbors, volunteers found housing was neighbors' number one concern.

Different people - same problem.

"It's terrible, I mean, the prices in the city are overpriced. Even just for a one bedroom, you're looking at $800," said Mark Ressel, who has lived in Lancaster for 35 years.
"I've been living in a bunch of different houses with other people, roommates, and I wanted to move into my own place, but I couldn't find anything less than $800 for a studio, one bed room," said Julia Berkman-Hill,  a volunteer with Lancaster Stands Up.
People told FOX43 they have concerns over the cost of living, the quality of homes available, and landlords.
"It's like any other place. They are good. They are bad," said Toamsim Cruiz, when asked about landlords.
"Quality of my [landlord] is very good. The ones I've had in the past... you don't want to call them slumlords, but they neglect the properties, and when you want something done, they take their time to do it," added Ressel.
"One huge problem is there is no incentive for developers to actually develop affordable housing so that means we don't have enough housing stock for working families," added Berkman-Hill.
The average income of a person in Lancaster County is a little more than $29,000 per year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and the median gross rent is $957.
Volunteers like Berkman are looking to make a dent and give working families a break.
"We know it's a complicated issue. So we think personal stories are the best way to get out in the public what people really are experiencing and start to find solutions," she said.
Lancaster Stands Up heard about the problem through talking to people, and it hopes more of that conversation-- collecting  stories about housing can help fix it.
The group hopes to hold a forum in the next month, ahead of primary elections for people to share their housing stories
Lancaster Stands Up is also collecting stories online. You can share yours here.
It hopes to bring whatever information is collected to city, county, and state leaders to bring forth some change.
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