Tenants rally for affordable housing in Pleasant Hill

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- Renters in the East Bay say enough is enough -- they're now demanding a moratorium on rising rents.

Protesters gathered in Pleasant Hill so they can march over to the California Apartment Association where they will demand a moratorium on rent increases. They also want the association to support repealing the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which puts limits on rent control.

Organizers of this event said renters are struggling to make ends meet in the Bay Area, especially when rents go up each month for some tenants. They're asking the large corporations to help keep these people in the communities rather than force them out.

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"We know what business is business. But the problem is wages have stayed the same for a long time. We know people are struggling to pay their rents. Currently, we know there is a shortage of affordable housing. We know there's a lot of development happening - in terms of luxury homes, luxury condos, but these don't get covered under rent control. So where is housing for people who really need it?" said Edith Pastrano, protest organizer.

The California Apartment Association has released this statement: "Policies such as rent control discourage development and exacerbate housing shortages. Tenant groups would be better served to leverage their activism toward demanding a more housing in their communities, not policies that deter it."

The protesters said they won't be deterred from fighting for a moratorium on rent increases. They encourage renters in all communities to mobilize -- they say there are actions like this one happening all over the state today.

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