CHICAGO, July 12, 2006 — Apartments.com announced today that Vanessa Veltre of White Oak, Pennsylvania is the winner of the third annual Apartments.com Room to Move Contest. The 24-year-old captivated thousands of online voters with her compelling and humorous tale of living with her parents and brother. One of the biggest challenges Vanessa experiences living at home is listening to Barbra Streisand every waking hour as it helps manage her 28-year-old brother who has Mosaic Partial Trisomy 2P, a rare blend of autism and epilepsy that is shared by only six people in the world. Veltre captured more votes than a 22-year-old Boulder man who lives in the closet of his parents’ basement and a 24-year-old Jacksonville woman who must share a room packed with comic books and action figures.
For her efforts, Veltre will receive $20,000 in cash and prizes and a room makeover from HGTV’s My First Place. She will also receive a truck rental and moving supplies from this year’s exclusive contest sponsor, Budget Truck Rental. The remaining finalists each will receive a $500 cash prize.
“Voters sympathized with Vanessa’s challenges of managing a career and social life while living with her parents and a sibling who has a rare disability,” said Mike Ricciardelli, Apartments.com spokesperson. “Her win provides a very happy ending to the contest.”
Veltre’s creative essay and photographs describing why she needed “room to move” paved the way for her victory. With her challenging job as a music therapist for children with developmental disabilities, Veltre’s new apartment is bound to become a welcome retreat.
There are 18 million unmarried Americans aged 18 to 34 currently living with their families (Source: U.S. Census Bureau) and it isn’t surprising that contest organizers received so many entries from across the country. Contest participants illustrated the humor and desperation of their living situations, entertaining judges with stories of annoying family pets, hiding clothes and food from scheming siblings, and the widespread instances of family members walking around in the buff.
The winner was announced on the contest Web Site, http://www.apartments.com/roomtomove. The winning essay and photos along with fun facts and statistics can also be found on the site. For those interested in expediting the relocation process, Apartments.com offers access to a wide variety of apartments directly from the contest pages.
Along with millions of visual apartment listings and classified from more than 170 newspapers nationwide, Apartments.com offers users a “List a Rental” service for listing units for rent or sublet.