AUSTIN, Texas — Austin's population grew nearly 19 percent from 2010 to 2017, according to the Census Bureau. As the population increases, many Austinites agree rental rates do too.

"The affordable housing that are left over here, they got waiting lists," said Robin Wilkins, an Austin resident.

Wilkins struggles to make ends meet in Austin and it gets harder every year.

She works as a caregiver, and stretches every dollar of her minimum wage to support her children.

At her Section 8 apartment in East Austin, making rent is tight.

"I don't mind being like this. As long as I know there is going to be a place out there that I can afford," she added.

RELATED | Report: Texans need to earn $19 per hour to afford a home

Christina Rosales from Texas Housers said Wilkins' story is a side of Austin we don't always talk about.

"There are $1,200 in some zip codes, $1,300 in other zip codes," said Rosales. "Apartments are generally being built for higher-income folks and it means that families don't really have options."

The National Low Income Housing Coalition says nearly half of Austin residents are renters.

To afford even a modest one-bedroom apartment in Travis County, you need to make $19.67 an hour. That's four dollars more than the state average and almost $41,000 a year.

"This finding is very alarming for us, but it's not surprising. We've seen in Texas that the demand for housing has increased and wages have been stagnant," said Rosales.

She said the data shows how much work still needs to be done for poor families.

For Wilkins, she knows this problem won't be fixed overnight, but she hopes it won't push her out of the neighborhood she's called home for 30 years.

"I am worried I'll have to move again someday soon," said Wilkins.

To look more in depth into the data, visit