“I love my job very much,” said April Rule, who’s been working as an administrative assistant at Harwood Union for the last three years.
She needs to find a new place to live after sharing space with a former-boyfriend for the last eight months.
“I’m trying to stay relatively close to The Valley and the district towns. I love it here, it’s such a great community,” she added. She’s been scouring digital bulletin boards and social media and classified ads and word of mouth. She gave up on Craigslist.org having encountered too many scams and fraudulent listings.
Part of the issue, she said, is that she had a dog, a 55-pound mutt named Bella who is great with humans but doesn’t always love other dogs.
“It’s challenging – a lot of people won’t rent to pet owners.
She’s been looking for a one-bedroom space, ideally with a washer and dryer. She said she loves to mow lawns, garden and shovel snow and is more than willing to take on those tasks for a new landlord. She has also looked for a two-bedroom with a friend and likewise found those in short supply and over her budget of $1,000 plus utilities.
The principals she works with at Harwood Union are looking for available housing as are several parents. Others have offered her a room to rent in their home, but she said that at this stage in her life, she wants her own place.
When she does hear about a possible rental, she said that there are so many people looking that she hasn’t been picked.
“People are very kind when they’re rejecting me. But if I don’t find anything by the time school lets out, I will have to move to Virginia and live with my dad,” she added.
Prior to moving to Warren, Rule was working at Mary Hogan in Middlebury and renting a cottage nearby.
“My landlord asked me to leave in the middle of COVID because she had a friend who needed to live there. I started looking for a place to move in Middlebury and that’s why I moved in with my then-boyfriend who was already living here,” she said.
“Lack of housing brought me here. I never thought I’d be in a position like this,” she said.
Rule cleans Airbnb units part time and said that if even a portion of them were rented to local people on a year-round basis, it would do a lot to change the housing landscape in The Valley, Middlebury and beyond.