Affordable Homes for Families in Poverty Hard to Find in Columbia

4 years 11 months 4 days ago Thursday, July 18 2013 Jul 18, 2013 Thursday, July 18, 2013 6:47:00 PM CDT July 18, 2013 in News
By: Emily Spain, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

COLUMBIA - Local realtors, contractors and housing authority employees say it is becoming more and more difficult for low-income families to find an affordable place to live in Columbia. For some in our community, it's a constant battle to find a roof they can afford to keep over their heads, and actually owning that roof is becoming a far off dream for families in poverty.

That's the case for Angie Skipworth and her 18-year-old daughter Maddi, who live in a two-bedroom condo together.

"It's not perfect, but it's livable and we've had places that weren't as livable." Skipworth said.

They used to live in a rented house, but had to downsize when their combined paychecks couldn't cover the bills. Skipworth is a devoted daycare employee, even though she earns barely more than minimum wage, $9 an hour. Maddie, one of three of Skipworth's daughters, is a recent Hickman High School graduate who plans to start classes at Columbia College in the fall. She works in fast food and chips in so the pair can continue living her.

"I don't even have enough money to pay rent with one paycheck, which is just frustrating," Skipworth said. "It's to the point where its laugh or cry and some days you just cry you just do."

The family feels like it's always battling the bills. Skipworth said it's her daughters who keep her fighting to provide.

"They become your driving force, life hasn't been perfect, life hasn't been easy."

Maddie's having to work isn't the only sacrifice this family makes to survive. The constant struggle with money impacts every decision they face.

"Do you want to eat steak or do you want to have a decent place to live... I have to figure out if this gets paid before this because we have to have electricity or I have to have my medicine this week."

Skipworth said her money troubles will keep her in this condo for now.

"Owning a house would be great, we could do whatever we wanted with it, but with the money I make it's just not a reality."

Even if she wanted to buy a home in Columbia, it would be hard to find one she could afford.

"Prices are increasing and the lower price ranges are just almost disappearing," said Columbia Board of Realtors Director Jessica Kempf.

According to the Columbia Board of Realtors, homes below $100,000 on the market, seen as affordable entry-level homes, are hard to find. Between 2008 and 2012, houses on the market for less than $100,000 dropped by 8 percent, those less than $75,000 decreased by 6 percent and those less than $50,000 decreased by 18 percent. Throw in the challenge of getting a loan and you can throw away any idea of living the American dream.

"A lot of people can't afford that down payment, which is a big part of it right now too," Kempf said.
Toss in new construction to the equation and Columbia is building onto the problem.

"It's not gonna get any easier," Scott Linnemeyer said, owner of Beacon Street Properties.

The houses contractors are adding to the market are far from affordable for those in poverty and there's a lot of them. In 2012, realtors sold 238 newly built homes in Columbia. They come with a bigger price tag too, selling on average for $248,145 in 2012.

"It's tough because of the land costs, once you throw that variable in there it's just hard to get under that 150 mark," Linnemeyer said.

Contractors are shelling out more money to build houses because of new city codes along with increased land and permit costs.

"It's all good stuff, it just costs real money and it eventually gets passed on to the buyer," he said.

The high prices will keep Skipworth from calling herself a buyer anytime soon.

"The money that I make if I own a house and something went wrong with it, when would I be able to fix it," she said.

Instead, she and her daughter will focus on getting through tomorrow together.

"A big part of our life is that we make those decisions together," she said.

This story is part of a new project KOMU 8 News is starting to address a problem that faces our area, yet remains hidden from view for many of us -- poverty. We're calling this effort "Poverty in Plain Sight" because, though many people choose not to see it, its effects cut across all parts of our lives.

In fact, the poverty rate in Columbia is 22.9 percent of the population versus around 14.3 percent for the state of Missouri. To give you an idea of who falls in that category, a family of four making $22,811 or less for an annual income would be considered poor. KOMU 8's mission in the months to come is to shed light on the issues those in poverty face on a daily basis and look for solutions.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 8:41:21 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – Police said a technician at a local gas station found an internal skimmer device inside a gas pump... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man could face more than 200 years in prison after being found guilty of 12... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. House passed the 2018 farm bill, formally known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - Despite rainfall these past two days, statistics show most of Missouri is dryer than usual. Data released... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – The sentencing phase of the trial for a convicted murderer began Friday. Jeffrey Nichols was convicted Thursday... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Graduate students at the University of Missouri celebrated Thursday after they were officially considered employees, but the celebration... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has faced big challenges in recent years - from changes in administration to loss of state funding... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 1:43:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Police Department has canceled an Amber Alert for Brajean Sledge, a missing 15-year-old girl... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 10:29:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border was plunged deeper into chaos over President Donald Trump's... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:52:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson signed his first five bills as Missouri's governor Friday. The bills he signed... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:17:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- More than 30 children attending a summer camp in Florida were taken to the hospital Thursday after they... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:12:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - Authorities said a Gravois Mills woman died in a one-vehicle car accident near Laurie, Missouri. According... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide campaign encourages expecting mothers to monitor their infant's movement in the womb. The Missouri... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - After months of tension between citizens and city officials, the city council met for the first time... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:30:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Police in Auxvasse posted a warning on Facebook Wednesday about unlicensed salesmen in the area, but the company... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:15:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - 1 and 6 males are sexually abused by the time they are 18. For the first time... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is changing some of its rules and regulations to offer more leave and layoff... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
12am 66°
1am 65°
2am 64°
3am 63°