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Cathedral City senior citizens complain about rent increases; rent control bill could bring relief

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Bill Royce, a tenant at the Park David Senior Apartments in Cathedral City, an affordable housing complex, is among those who say their rent is not so affordable anymore.

"Many people who live here say they don't know what they're going to do, some are already borrowing money from their friends and relatives," said Royce.

Since moving in 8 years ago, he says the usual rent hike was $7 to $9 each year.

But, since last May, his rent has been increased $71, for a current monthly total of $884 dollars.

"Number one, it cuts into my budget for groceries, and it cuts into my budget for prescription medication," said Royce.

Royce and other concerned tenants were pleased to learn Wednesday, that the state legislature could soon pass a rent control bill, A.B.1482.

Supported by Governor Newsom, the measure would cap the annual rent increases at five percent, plus the rate of inflation, with the total increase not exceeding 10 percent.

Tenant advocate Elsa Stevens commented on the bill.

"It's state-wide rent control.  It's not strong, but it's something," said Stevens. 

The rent control measure does face opposition, mainly coming from landlords and business and housing groups.

The California Association of Realtors, with an office in Palm Desert, issued a statement reading, in part, the bill "will not incentivize production of rental housing or help more people find an affordable place to live". 
The assembly bill has to clear both houses of the legislature before the current session ends September 13th. 

Regarding the concerns over rate hikes at the Park David Senior Apartments, the property manager would not comment, and our call to the corporation that owns the complex was not returned.  

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Tom Tucker


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