California lawmakers trying to make rent more affordable

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California lawmakers unveiled a set of proposals aimed at making rent more affordable. 

It’s all part of a larger plan to tackle the state’s housing crisis. 

Redwood City renter Sasha Powell stood before lawmakers on Thursday and read a letter from her landlord saying that her rent would increase from $1040 to $2500 in several increments.

“Effective May 1st, 2019, my rent will be 1,700 instead of 1,040. Effective July 1st my rent will be 2,300 instead of 1,700,” she said. “Effective September 1st my rent will be 2,500 instead of 2,300. I’ve lived in my building for 16 years. “

Powell’s rent increase in an example of what millions of renters have experienced in the last decade across California and lawmakers are considering it a housing emergency. 

“We know that we need to use every tool that we have in the toolbox. That’s what you do in an emergency,” Assemblyman Rob Bonta said. “That’s what we do in a crisis. We need to keep Californians in their home.”

Legislators announced a new set of bills to protect renters with measures that would require landlords to prove just cause before evicting a tenant and to prohibit rent gouging. 

“It would protect 15 million Californians from large rent increases without diminishing a property owner’s ability to make a fair return on investment,” Assemblyman David Chiu said.

The proposals also include reforming current rent control laws and creating a statewide rent registry to collect data. 

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