AMES, Iowa — A recent Insurify study showed that Ames has some of the highest rental prices relative to income in the entire country.
More than one-third of residents are putting more than half of their income into rent.
Furthermore, a staggering 28% of people in Ames live below the poverty line, according to the study.
"In many college towns across the country or cities located near colleges, students tend to drive up the rent," said Emily Leff with Insurify. "Student demand makes prices higher which means lower income earners have a harder time affording rent."
Leff says the numbers were pulled from census data before the pandemic took a toll on the United States economy, a fact that emphasizes the problem.
"It's really clear that rent affordability is not just an issue now where the unemployment rate is much greater, but it's always been a problem," said Leff.
A problem felt in Ames where a recent Iowa State University student said there is a dwindling middle ground.
"When you get close to campus it's either you live in a pretty bad apartment or you pay a lot," said Grant Davis.
"Now more than ever having a safe place to shelter at home and not be in public is so important," Leff told Local 5.
She also said she's not sure what the solution is, but that it is important to keep the dialogue going especially as the federal moratorium on evictions expires on Friday.