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Low-Income Housing Shortage in Branson

BRANSON, Mo. -- The Branson Housing Authority has a waitlist of approximately 50 people who need low-income housing. The search for an apartment can be difficult for middle-class families, too.
It took weeks of searching and 30 visits to apartment complexes in Branson, but Kat Wenck and her husband eventually found a place that was affordable and could accommodate her wheelchair.

“There were a lot of nice houses but I couldn't get up the steps,” she said of the search. “We have very much enjoyed living here for the past four years.”

The Wencks settled at Bee Crek Apartments. Krystal Howell, the manager of the properties, said the apartments cater to middle-class families who want an affordable and comfortable living space.

“We have a lot of middle class that wants affordable luxury,” Howell said. “A place where their kids can be picked up from the bus safe.”

Howell has worked in branson for seven years.

She said it can be hard to find properties that offer both space for growing families and low rates.

 “We do need more, where it's that affordable, safe living,” she said. “And then also enough retired, income-based livng for retired folks.”

The search for affordable housing is even more difficult for low-income families. Kent Wolven, the director of the Branson Housing Authority, said the biggest gap of all in Branson is for young families whose income falls short of the market rent, more than $12 hundred for some families.

“When you start looking at the average and fair market rents in this town,” Wolven said. “Most of these people aren't capable of paying near that much.”


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