Families in Oakhurst struggling to find homes to rent

OAKHURST, Calif. (KFSN) -- Chandra Deal and her family have only been renting out a house in Coarsegold for about a year, but they already consider it home. But their days in the house are numbered until September. The homeowner has put the home up for sale, and Deal said there are not any rentals available.

"Who doesn't want the security of a roof over their head, I don't even care if that's a nice roof."

Deal said she is constantly checking websites and social media but can't find anything. She and her daughter have medical issues; she also said her husband is not able to transfer to another location for work, so they are stuck.

"It's very frustrating and it's very scary because we don't have anywhere else to go. We don't family that can loan us money; we don't have good credit so we're not in a position to buy ourselves."

Deal is not alone, realtors said there are waiting lists for rentals in the area and sellers are taking advantage of the current market.

"The sellers are noticing they do have good equity in their homes, they're starting to sell and that's misplacing a lot of our families too," said Katie Miller, London Realty.

Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler said as soon as a new house comes on the market, they are quickly being bought to turn into a vacation rental. He also said the tree mortality is bringing more workers to the area for work.

"All these loggers came in from all over the state and moved here, took up any rental we had available. For all them there are three, four, five, six, seven people living in a house."

Realtors said even if you are not looking to buy a home, calling a realty company may have different options for people needing to rent.

As for Deal, she said the search is ongoing but their future living situation is still uncertain.

Wheeler also said that state laws were created years ago regarding fire proof building requirement to homes and that slowed new construction in the area because it became more expensive to build. He said there are some apartments being built in the area, but for now it is a seller's market and there is not a short term fix in sight for the rental issue.
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