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Low- income residents push for rent "cap"

Posted at 12:02 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 15:02:00-04

San Diego (KGTV)- Tenants in Oak Park say they soon won't be able to pay their rent if it continues to go up. Some have seen two increases this year, and they're already living on a fixed income.

Tenants held a rally Thursday morning and are pushing for a rent control bill to be signed into law. Assembly bill 1482 would put a cap on rent for tenants in apartments and single-family homes.

"My sense of security is pretty much gone," says Sara McTimmonds. "We don't know if we're going to be in or out."

McTimmonds has been living at the Olive Wood Gardens Apartment complex for 12 years. It's a low-income housing complex for seniors and those who are disabled. McTimmonds says she's already had her rent increased twice.

"In February, $25 and then in July my rent was going to go up from 550 to 900."

Renters are hoping for rent protection. Assembly Bill 1482 would do just that. The bill would make it illegal for property owners to raise rents more than 7 percent in one year.

Not everyone is in favor of the bill. The California Apartment Association and the California Association of Realtors say they state underbuilt housing for so many years, and that's why rent is so high.

"The five percent, plus the CPI may be enough if you don't have significant operational costs if you don't need a new roof, but that's not a certainty," says Molly Kirkland with the Southern California Rental Housing Association.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will hear Assembly Bill 1482 Friday and decide whether or not to move it out of suspense file status for the rest of 2019. They could kill the bill if they think it will cost the state too much.