Renters in Delano are facing many challenges as the rent price keeps going up and the city of Delano is hoping that a rent control ordinance is passed so that they can be the first city in the Central Valley to pass rent control.
The organization Loud for Tomorrow has been collecting signatures to stop rent from going up. Loud for Tomorrow has taken this issue to the city council of Delano and has proposed to get a rent control ordinance.
A rent control ordinance proposed by former Councilman Bryan Osorio is up for a vote next month in March. This ordinance would provide support for renters and tenants in the city of Delano by capping increases and stabilizing rents. It will also provide tenants protection from evictions without just cause.
“Kern County housing prices jumped 27 percent in just two years during the pandemic and folks are still working on their rising rents and cost of living,” said Jose Orellana, co-director and co-founder of Loud for Tomorrow.
A lot of people in Delano are struggling even more than before with rent. With the high cost of groceries and inflation, residents are facing housing insecurity more and more each month.
“This is a hard time for my family and I because we rent an apartment that used to be affordable to us, but the rent just keeps going up and up and it is hard to pay my rent when I don’t make enough money. The reason I got this apartment was because it was affordable and I was able to pay for it, but when the rent goes up almost $200 it is very hard,” said Maria Hernandez.
Alongside organizations like Delano Guardians and Central Valley Empowerment Alliance, Loud for Tomorrow is also organizing, educating, and mobilizing Delano residents in support of rent stabilization.
“Community residents can help by contacting city council members and asking them to do what’s best for our community. Rent stabilization and control have been proven to be one of the most effective ways to keep residents in their homes,” said Orellana.
Many residents are going to city council meetings and are signing petitions, so that rent control is passed in Delano.
“I have signed the petition and have spoken to the council about how the price of rent is increasing drastically,” said Martin Gomez. “If you know Delano you know that many people, myself included, work in the fields and it is not a lot of money that we make. We have to provide food for the family, provide for our children, and pay bills — so if the rent keeps going up and there is no control a lot of us are going to be homeless so we need the council to pass the rent control ordinance and help out the community.”
If the rent control ordinance is passed in March, this would put a limit of 70 percent of the consumer price index on rent increases.
“I really hope that this rent control ordinance gets passed because it will be very helpful. Groceries have gone up a lot as well, so if the ordinance is passed I will be able to buy more groceries and cook meals that my kids want and not just cook what I can afford,” said Hernandez.
Central Valley Empowerment Alliance members say that due to the rent rising, many people are becoming homeless and this rent control ordinance needs to be passed to avoid this.
The rent control ordinance was passed 2 to 1 during one of the Delano city council meetings and a new draft will be proposed to the new city council members for another vote in March.