FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – It’s no secret that rent across the nation continues to rise. One place, in particular, that is seeing a significant rise in rent is Fresno.

According to a study by Zumper, Fresno’s average rent rose significantly in just one year. The current average rent for a one-bedroom in this Central Valley city is $1,540. Many people in the bigger cities may not think much about this rate given that San Francisco comes in at $3,040 and San Diego comes in at $2,580 for a one-bedroom.

But this is an alarming number for Fresno because that means rent is 40% higher than it was at the same time last year, according to the study. This is the most significant increase in the country. With Fresno ranking as one of the poorest major cities in California, this is a reason why they are facing an affordability crisis.

So why is this happening in Fresno?

While some of the other major cities in California are losing population, Fresno is steadily growing. The fact that rent in San Francisco is almost practically double that of Fresno is a reason why people have been attracted to the fifth-largest city in California. While the pandemic increased this trend, this was something that was already happening pre-pandemic. For some people, it is less expensive to commute or work remotely and live in a city that is very accessible to the rest of the state.

This rising number of relocations to Fresno has inspired investors from all over to capitalize on this trend. They come in and take over existing properties and increase asking prices. Which in turn has led to that 40% increase in one year alone.

One of the strategies that the City of Fresno is trying to combat the rising rent prices is converting motels into affordable apartments. On Aug. 25, officials broke ground on the first motel they will transform into affordable apartments. As part of the statewide effort to combat homelessness, this complex that will be named the Promesa Commons will debut in 15 months with 64 units. Tenants will pay no more than $1,200 for a three-bedroom apartment.

According to Fresno city officials, this is just the start as they plan on rehabilitating other places for housing in the future. Even with a project like this, they agree that more needs to be done in the city to combat rising rents.