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Housing crisis has Idahoans living month-to-month in RV parks

Living out of an RV or trailer is a lifestyle for some at the Meridian KOA. However, it's a necessity for others amid the housing crisis.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — The Meridian KOA turns away 8 to 12 people everyday seeking a month-to-month spot for rent at the RV park, according to Manager Ron Lundquist.

The demand for long-term spots for rent has increased in recent years at the park. Today, the Meridian KOA reserves 150 spots for monthly rates; that is roughly 40% of the park.

"This is our choice. This is what we wanted to do," traveling nurse Jennifer Willis said. "I like the minimalist lifestyle."

But while Willis' stay at the KOA is a choice, several people at the campground are living there by neccessity. A recent study by Florida Atlantic University concluded Boise, Idaho is the most overpriced housing market in the country.

"If you make $15 an hour, I don't even see how it's possible to afford housing here," Willis said.

Coincidently, Willis lives no more than 50 yards away from Richard Moorhouse. Moorhouse has called the KOA home since February.

He is retired and lives on a fixed income; the housing market priced him out of apartments and rentals, Moorhouse said. He lives in his daughter's trailer.

"[To move out of the KOA] I'd have to go back to work, and I'm 76," Moorhouse said. "So, it was nice of her to do that for her dad."

Several trailers and RV's at the Meridian KOA have decks, gardens, and even home improvement projects. These are sure signs the residents aren't leaving anytime soon.

"It's pretty much been full since we've been here. As as well as all the other RV parks," WIllis said.

At the KOA, a monthly spot costs $525. A typical power bill can cost another $100, Lundquist said. In all, it's a deal Moorhouse can't find anywhere else.

"I think it's shameful. I think that I seen this coming," Moorhouse said. "Unless I get a better deal than this, no way I can leave."

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