WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — According to Zumper.com, an average two-bedroom apartment right now is about $1350 — a 13 percent jump from last year.
The average four-bedroom apartment costs about $1,800 — a 26 percent spike from last year.
A demonstration in Waterbury showed that kids are aware of how higher rent prices impact their families.
More than two dozen children, ages 5 to 17, marched to Waterbury City Hall Wednesday to voice concerns over the issue.
“The rent is so high these days,’ said 10-year-old Aliyah Perez. “It’s so hard to find an apartment.”
The demonstrators are too young to pay rent, but old enough to understand the financial challenges their families face.
“My mom used to work two-to-three jobs,” said 12-year-old Nicole Martinez. “She’d babysit, she’d clean a school, then she’d clean another person’s house mostly in the rich neighborhoods so she could at least get by.”
Martinez says she feels guilty about earning money by completing her chores.
“Sometimes I feel like giving all my money to my parents so they could pay the rent and not have to worry about stuff,” Martinez said.
Rafael Feliciano-Roman, executive director of Waterbury’s Afro-Caribbean Cultural Center, says the protest is part of a six-week summer camp at the center.
Campers learn about art, dance, culture, and social justice.
“The youth have to pick an issue that’s near and dear to their heart and act on it and do something that’s productive and proactive to raise awareness,” Feliciano-Roman said.
Most of the young activists gave their two cents about how much their families pay, without even knowing what they pay.
“I don’t think I want to know, because if I did know how much my parents would have to pay, I might cry,” Martinez said.
The group says they’re also expressing concern by writing letters to Waterbury’s newly formed Fair Rent Commission.
News 8 reached out to the commission for comment, but we were told the committee is “too new to respond.”