Janet Belanger evicted

Janet Belanger pauses while speaking with a Union Leader reporter at her Douglas Street apartment in Manchester on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.

MANCHESTER — A Manchester woman evicted last week said she’s moved into a local hotel, an option she had dreaded because the hotel bill will draw down money she saved for an apartment.

Janet Belanger said she has spent three nights at the Econo Lodge with her two adult sons at a cost of about $400.

“I’m at a loss. I don’t know what to do. I’m tired, so very tired,” Belanger said on Monday.

Last week, the Union Leader wrote about her imminent eviction from her Douglas Street apartment, an apartment that had been her home for 10 years.

Belanger was not evicted for non-payment of rent. The six-unit building was recently sold, and the new landlord wanted to upgrade her one-bedroom apartment and hike the rent substantially.

Belanger said some of her belongings remain in the apartment. She’s frustrated because she believed her lock-out date was last week; now her landlord is telling her it is this week. Had she known, Belanger would have stayed and avoided an unnecessary hotel bill, she said.

Homeless by Wednesday: Manchester mom is up against tight rental market

Belanger works full-time in medical billing. Two adult sons live with her. One has a part-time job at Walmart. The other has been unemployed.

Belanger said her older son did get a job in retail, but she is not sure when it starts. She said he has emotional issues which date back to when she was homeless a decade ago.

“Unfortunately, he’s never addressed them,” Belanger said. “When you’re a certain age, you can’t do it.”

Both her sons, she said, are over-reliant on her.

Rents have shot up in southern New Hampshire and a tight housing market has made it challenging for many people to find apartments. Last week, Belanger’s former landlord said Massachusetts residents are moving to the Manchester area, where they get more apartment for their money, and commuting to work.

Housing advocates say landlords have become very selective and anything like a poor credit score or spotty rental history can doom a tenant.

About the most Belanger can pay in rent is $1,200, she said. Belanger said she has tried to find apartments online. Often times landlords don’t respond.

Several people contacted the Union Leader after reading last week’s article. Belanger said a woman in Exeter who offered a room in her house never got back to her.

Belanger said she never reached out to a Salem woman, who said a Salem volunteer organization, Isaiah 58, could put her in a mobile home.

One man offered money, and while she appreciates it, Belanger said she needs to find an apartment first. Then she might ask him for monetary help.

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