Renting in Mankato is charging an arm and a leg. This summer there were many challenges as a college graduate student and a first-time single-room apartment seeker in Mankato.

A major issue in Mankato is limited affordable housing for families, singles and students. The Mankato rental market is very expensive compared to the surrounding towns.

Apartments or housing for rent varies from management companies outside of the area to private landlords. Single bedrooms are scarce. If you get lucky in finding one available, they range from $700 to $1,200 before utilities. The average college student is paying over half their income on rent and utilities. How can anyone decide between paying rent and food?

Most rentals require an application fee, so just think of applying for five different management companies in hope of a response. Another barrier for students includes how some off-campus affordable housing states at least one applying tenant cannot be a fulltime student.

This year was even more difficult because of COVID-19. When interested in an apartment the only way to learn more about a rental was through phone, email or the management websites.

During my search, I was lucky to get a response because lines were busy, or websites were not updated. I understand for good reason landlords were not having showings, but this made it even harder to find something that would fit my needs.

This past year more affordable housing is being developed for low-income families and seniors. This is a great start, but another issue in Mankato is how we do not have enough affordable housing available for students off campus.

Jessica Schisel

Mankato

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