Delano community joins four cities on rent control initiative

December 21, 2023 /

Delano, Calif.- This month, residents from Delano filed The Fair Rents Delano Ordinance to be placed on the November 2024 ballot. They joined four Central Valley cities who have also filed similar ordinances this month, if passed this would be the first ordinance of its kind in Kern County. The ordinance aims to address the increase in rent prices across Central Valley communities by demanding affordable housing and bringing back home ownership to locals instead of out-of-town investors. 

“The community is struggling, watching hard working farm-worker families have to survive on less than minimum wage while rents skyrocket is heartbreaking”, said Delano community leader Lupe Martinez and one of the proponents of the measure. “Farmworkers are the most vulnerable to the unattainable rent prices which exhaust over 70 percent of their salaries just on rent alone with two to three generations living under one household.”

The proposed ordinance, set for the November 2024 ballot, emerges as a pivotal measure to curb displacement and nurture a resilient, supportive community. The 46-page proposal seeks to regulate extreme rent hikes and unjustified evictions, impacting over 60 percent of Delano renters. In order to get the ordinance in the ballot, the group aims to collect at least 3000 signatures.

“This is a place where families should thrive, heal, and grow,” said Arturo Rodriguez of Central Valley Empowerment Alliance, the group who organized the press conference. “This ordinance would bring rent stabilization and tenant protections.”

As Delano and its sister cities embark on this transformative journey, the goal extends beyond fair rents. Perez-Ruiz stated, “It’s about fostering resilient communities where dreams of homeownership can thrive, echoing the spirit of those who paved the way for justice.” In the pursuit of affordable housing, this movement stands as a testament to the power of collective action, weaving a narrative of hope, resilience, and community empowerment.

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Aubrey Jasso

Aubrey Jasso is a reporter based in Delano, California. University of California, Berkeley Alumni.