Cameron Stahl considers himself fortunate: He has a good job as an editor for a dental marketing company. Still, the stress of having to move every year because of astronomical rent increases is starting to get to him.

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Sketched July 24, 2017

Cameron Stahl thought the monthly rent hike from $1,250 to $1,600 that drove him away from Fremont last year was “the mother of all rent increases.”

This one is worse. The rent for his 700-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in North Greenwood is going up by almost 50 percent, from $1,440 to $2,130 a month.

Renting in Seattle: An illustrated chronicle

Seattle is experiencing one of the priciest rental markets in years. If you'd like to be considered as a subject of my illustrated chronicle about Seattle renters, contact me at gcampanario@seattletimes.com. I'd love to hear your story and maybe make some sketches of your apartment before you get priced out.

Stahl lives in a sleek apartment complex where units come with new appliances and USB ports, and building amenities include a gym, swimming pool and bike storage.

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But, a 50 percent increase?

Born in Seattle and raised on Bainbridge island, Stahl, 25, considers himself fortunate in many regards. He earned a degree in biology and a has good job as an editor for a dental marketing company. For fun, he plays the Irish flute with a local folk band. Still, the stress of having to move every year because of astronomical rent increases is starting to get to him.

If people as fortunate as him are struggling with housing, he says, “I don’t know how others who haven’t gotten a lot of breaks in life do it.”

Stahl will not be signing a new lease for his apartment. A friend from his close-knit community of folk musicians is moving to another state and agreed to rent him his house for below-market rate. Finding this “friendtal,” said Stahl, has been “a miraculous stroke of luck.”