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Some help on the way for those looking to rent

Sunday - 6/12/2011, 11:44am  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Foreclosures, declining housing prices and higher rents are all making it difficult to find a place to live in this region.

The competition is stiff between people forced out of their homes by foreclosure, others priced out of the home buying market by tighter mortgages with larger down payments and the continued long term downturn in apartment construction.

Add to that a projected rent increases of 5 to 7 percent over the next few years.

Shane Cochran, from Alexandria's housing office, says local governments have bought up housing units offering a new place for people to look, but many people are unaware of that.

To help those looking for housing, the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance will be holding a forum later this month.

It will include ideas for renovating existing homes, credit options for buyers and renters, rights and responsibilities as tenants, and deciphering the tangled code of buying a foreclosed home.

The event will be held at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. on Saturday, June 25th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)