MONTEREY, Calif. (KION)
Monterey community leaders came together for a #RENTERSVOTE Virtual Forum, Sunday, to address housing issues in Monterey County including evictions and rising rent costs.
A Monterey City Council Member says voting is what will help renters make a local impact and establish power over rent control.
Renters Assistance programs have been established throughout Monterey County to assist people with rent and utility costs, including people who are renting rooms.
“People who rent rooms, historically, are the lower income ones and they would benefit from these programs, that’s never happened before that room renters would ever even be considered," says Monterey County Renters United Founder, Esther Malken.
Monterey City Council Member Tyller Williamson says 65 people have already signed up for the city's rental assistance program and received around $205,000 dollars in financial assistance altogether.
“We are seeing a mass exodus of folks leaving the area because they continue to find it unaffordable to live here," says Williamson.
"We are seeing the market rate of rentals going down a little bit, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be some landlords out there who are going to find the opportunity to increase rent even though they don’t need to.”
Williamson adds many people who cannot afford to live in the Monterey County area often move to other cities and even out of state to seek more affordable housing.
Community leaders say their goal is to encourage renters to elect officials who would help people stay in their homes and businesses locally.
To find out more about the renters assistance programs, visit https://monterey.org