Residents Say Rent Prices are Going Up by $300 a Month for Moldy, Cockroach-Infested Apartments

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SACRAMENTO -- Would you pay hundreds more a month to live in conditions like this?

That's just what dozens of renters at the Cedar Ridge Apartments say they're being asked to do.

"Her name is Maria Godinez. They're raising her rent over $300, and she's struggling to pay the rent now," Godinez said in Spanish with the help of a translator.

Now the one bedroom, one bathroom apartment she's lived in with her three girls for six years is in the $700s but on June 1, the pocketbook punch for the same unit will be $1,050, plus utilities.

The change comes at an especially bad time for the five members of the Luna family who share a two-bedroom unit.

"Right now, yeah, because my brother and I, we got let go from our jobs because our work permits expired, so we're not working right now," said Cedar Ridge tenant Claudia Luna.

"It's too much, we don't have all the things that we need for the rent to be increased," said tenant Deana Johnson.

A mold-free living space is just one of the needs of Johnson.

She says being notified just two months before the start of a huge rent hike isn't fair -- especially since no upgrades come with the increase and mold and other reported maintenance issues languish.

"They were supposed to come and seal up the holes, and the pest control guy told them to come and do it. They have yet to do it, roaches are coming from other units. No matter how much I spray, or get them to come and spray, they're still coming from other units," she said.

"Cucarachas...vandalismo," said Godinez.

"There's a lot of problems with cockroaches and vandalism in the apartments," said the translator.

While the pool is featured in ads for Cedar Ridge, renters say it hasn't been available for use for years.

"We're helping collect any issues that they have to report it with the city's code enforcement," said ACCE's Jovana Fajardo.

That's one of the steps ACCE or the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment has taken to help families here.

They've also tacked up a list of concerns on the leasing office door since advocates and families say they can't get any straight answers when trying to contact complex owners about the problems.

"She said 'no you cannot speak to him. That's not disclosable for you,'" said Johnson of her experience trying to get answers.

"People are giving me the run around just pointing fingers to someone else and directing me to one another," said Fajardo.

No one has returned FOX40's repeat calls to the management office for comment.

Now some at Cedar Ridge are frantically trying to find new places to live while others who can't finance moving and start-up costs elsewhere, feel trapped.

"She can't move. She can't go anywhere. She can't afford anything," Godinez said through her translator.

Godinez and others say they have not been able to get a lease through Cedar Ridge and have only been offered month-to-month rentals.

With ACCE's help, they have formed a tenant association are considering a lawsuit.