Home News A Woman Making $85,000 Feels She Can’t Afford Rent, Let Alone Homeownership

A Woman Making $85,000 Feels She Can’t Afford Rent, Let Alone Homeownership

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  • Brittany Phillips made $85,000 a year in California, but had trouble finding an affordable home.
  • She had low-income housing, roommates, and tried living in hotels.
  • Her story shows how difficult it is to secure stable housing in certain areas despite high salaries.

After living in California for 22 years, enduring steadily rising rents and ever-affordable home prices, Brittany Phillips has finally hit a breaking point.

single mother of one child packed up for florida I moved with my mother to Panama City Beach, Florida in August.

“I wanted a better life for my daughter,” Phillips told the insider. But at the end of the day, I was like, ‘Is it worth it?

Before moving to Florida, 37-year-old Phillips moved regularly to find more affordable housing. She said moving was often emotionally and financially taxing. ‘s home now pays $1,125 a month on 1,353 square feet of rent. A home in a more modest Southern California city an hour away.

Ultimately, however, she found it too difficult to balance working enough hours to ensure adequate housing for herself and her 13-year-old daughter, Aniston, and co-parenting. I noticed.

“It was really hard to work there and actually make enough money. Unless you had a nanny or something, you could even borrow something because you had to choose Do I want to be a parent or do I want to work and pay it off?” My bills? ‘ she said.

Phillips worked as a hair stylist and earned about $85,000 a year while living in California. Her journey shows how difficult and unforgiving it is to secure a roof over her head.

Having a decent salary and struggling to buy a home? Contact reporter Jordan Pandey. [email protected] with your story.

She pursued affordability around Southern California

Phillips was a self-proclaimed Army brat who lived all over the United States and beyond while she was growing up.

Born in Valdosta, Georgia, about a 30-minute drive from the Florida border, Phillips has lived in Maryland, Rhode Island, Germany, Virginia, and Hawaii, a city 30 miles north of Los Angeles. Moved to Santa Clarita, California. the year of 2000.

Her parents divorced and left California, but she decided to stay there when she was just 17. After bouncing around Los Angeles neighborhoods, including Studio City and Hollywood, and even a brief life outside the car, she finally landed a 4,200-square-foot apartment in swanky Calabasas in 2005 with her eventual husband. I just moved into a house in ft. This square footage is worth $1.8 million, according to Realtor.com. )

In 2009, Phillips and her husband divorced. After living in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, she moved back to Calabasas in her 2015. Because she qualified for low-income housing as a single mother, she was able to secure her two-bedroom unit for $1,600. However, her rent rose to $2,300 after her one year.

Phillips couldn’t afford the $700 jump, and in early 2019 moved with her daughter to a two-bedroom home in Ventura, 40 miles west of the beach, for $1,749.

COVID-19 caused another setback

Unable to work as a hairstylist in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Phillips temporarily moved to Florida with her mother because she couldn’t pay her rent. She began receiving relief money and her EBT cards, commonly known as food stamps, for her and her daughter. It helped her recover and return to Ventura.

“Without it, I don’t know what I was doing,” she said. “I would have been on the street.”

In Ventura, Phillips split half of a three-bedroom, 1,353-square-foot home with his roommate. It’s not ideal, but she was finally able to be saved.

“I started making $6,500 to $8,000 a month, depending on how many people were coming in,” she said.

But that security disappeared after the landlord decided to sell the house.

For several weeks, she bounced back and forth between Airbnb and hotel rooms, ranging from $1,400 for two weeks to $150 a night. This drained my savings, ruined my credit, and made it harder to apply for an apartment in California.

“It was no longer possible to survive,” she said. “I’m making good money, but I have nothing to show for it.”

House in Panama City Beach, Florida

Phillips’ mother’s house in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Brittany Phillips



Tired of scratching and scratching just because she floated, Phillips moved in with her mother in Florida.

Phillips made above the average salary of $78,672 in California, but she, like so many others, still struggled to make it work.

“I have had to live alone since I was 17 and it was hard,” she said. “And at 37, to tear everything out from under me, I feel like a failure. How? I did everything right.”

Having a decent salary and struggling to buy a home? Contact reporter Jordan Pandey. [email protected] with your story.

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