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City of Salinas discussing potential plans for rent stabilization

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) -- It's no surprise -- rent in Salinas is getting expensive. To help combat this, city officials have drafted an ordinance to stabilize rent in Salinas.

The ordinance drafted by the Salinas housing committee has property owners in the city upset.

"I've had three particular owners call me within four days of that draft coming out saying, please give my tenants notice and put list out properties for sale. I had to do that. And they were at that moment, they felt that it was necessary with the government overreach," said Amy Salmina, Owner of Coast and Valley Properties.

The city attorney drafted an ordinance that would stabilize rent, protect tenants from eviction without cause, and prohibit landlords from harassing tenants. The ordinance also lists the way that the city will help tenants if a legal issue is involved.

"If a tenant has an issue, and there is, they can demonstrate that landlord violated the law, then the city could step into that role and enforce its own ordinance," said Salinas City Attorney Chris Callihan.

Renters in Salinas like Maria deem it necessary with the amount of rent she pays.

"We want to pass the rent stabilization, because we are suffering a lot since everything is expensive and the jobs cut hours or people are working less," said Chavez.

Last year, the U.S. and World Report ranked the Salinas metro area as the 7th most expensive place to live in the country. A study including other parts of Monterey County.

When checking Zillow you can find several one-bedroom apartments in San Francisco for $1,700, but none in Salinas.

Gonzalez Mengibar says his rent went up over 500 dollars over the last two years.

"They need to put a limit because if there is no limit that they are told, then the landlords will raise rent higher and higher," said Gonzalez who lives in Salinas.

Landlords who spoke in a housing committee meeting this week said this will cause a housing shortage, as people won't want to buy property to rent. As of now, the limit a landlord could increase rent throughout the year is left blank – but that will soon change.

This ordinance is still in the draft phase. The amount a landlord can increase rent will be determined through conversations with the community and council.

The next housing committee meeting is on May 28th.

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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