DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Renters across the Miami Valley are facing a tough market already this year with rising rent costs and limited inventory.

“For the months of November and December, we’ve received 15,049 calls that are just for rent alone,” said Keesan Lasley, director of HelpLink 2-1-1 at United Way of the Greater Dayton Area.

Experts attribute the rise in prices to high home prices, low inventory, and the fallout from the pandemic.

“Wages have increased, and material costs of construction, paint, and maintenance supplies have all increased so that has affected rental rates,” said Jennifer Illanz, the president of the Greater Dayton Apartment Association.

She said a three percent rent increase is typical, but the pandemic has fueled larger price hikes.

“Some people didn’t raise the rent at all during COVID, and now they are going back and raising the rent to offset that,” she said.

Of the applicants requesting help from the United Way, 67 percent are black, 19 percent are white, and 14 percent are of another race. Also, 74 percent of the applicants are female.

Helplink 211 is a free, confidential service that will review your situation and connect you with resources to meet your needs. For help, dial 211 or call (937) 225-3000.