MEDFORD, Ore. -- Southern Oregon is in a housing crisis.
Jackson County residents making less than $20,000 a year use most of their paycheck on rent. The state says 90 percent of their income goes to keeping a roof over their head.
"Just like a real estate market, inventory for rental properties is extremely low," said Jake Rockwell, of Rockwell Real Estate. "And we’re finding a lot of people are struggling to find rental properties."
According to the Oregon Housing Alliance, one out of three renters are paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent. Three out of four renters with extremely low incomes are paying more than 50 percent of their income.
"Two bedroom homes are going for $1,000 to $1,200 a month now, and you can buy a $200,000 house for almost less than that," Rockwell said. "It has become cheaper to purchase if you have the ability to, and we’re finding a lot of people try to do that."
Newswatch 12, Rockwell Real Estate and the Salvation Army are teaming up to help local families in need to pay rent. People can enter to win 3 months' free rent through November 19. The Salvation Army will then choose a person or family to win. The winner will be announced November 21.