Candy Chitty has lived in Raleigh for several years, but since she lost her apartment and all her belongings in a massive fire in 2016, she’s been struggling to get back on her feet.

It doesn’t help that Raleigh rent prices have risen since then by more than 43%.

“It all adds up to something that just devastates people,” Chitty said.

A shortage in rental units and a surge in new residents has driven up prices. As of August, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Raleigh is $1,398 and a two-bedroom apartment costs on average $1,541, according to data from Apartment List.

North Carolina faces shortage of 900,000 housing units by 2030, exec warns

Chitty had to get creative. She placed an ad online, asking for people who owned a home in the city to consider renting out a spare room to her.

“I think it’s going to come to that. People are going to start living together, strangers, just so they can afford where they’re living,” she said.

Even before the pandemic, the number of single adults sharing living spaces was rising. More than one in three adults in 2018 said they had a roommate, according to Pew Research.

“I thought, well, I will find a woman my age who lives by herself who would love some company,” Chitty said.

Research from RentCafe shows that Raleigh is among one of the major U.S. metropolitan areas expected to see a record-breaking number of new rental units built in the next five years.

The question is, will the projected 9,000 rental units be enough to meet the city’s growing population demands?