Rent control advocates rally for ballot initiative at Sacramento City Hall

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Demands and distaste were intensifying Tuesday night, more than a year after activists qualified a rent control ballot initiative for the city of Sacramento.

A month ago, those same activists put the City Council on notice, giving members 30 days to discuss the initiative and put it on the ballot. They strongly criticized what they said was a watered-down version of rent help for struggling families.

"It's got a 6% plus CPI (Consumer Price Index), so it's around a 10% cap. Our low-income families, especially families of color, a 10%, 7% cap is still going to raise the rent to where they'll have to move out," said Jovana Fajardo with ACCE Action.

The Coalition for Real Rent Control and the qualified ballot initiative are calling for “a real cap on rent increases,” according to Fajardo.

“We want an elected board who's non-biased that could hear tenants’ stories and help them stay in their home,” Fajardo told FOX40. “Plus, we want just cause for all tenants, not just certain tenants, and relocation fees."

Robyn Mutchler said her frustration was not just for her community but for herself and her son. With her rent recently rising by $120, she said not only was she dealing with an unfixed, leaky roof, as well as electric and rodent issues, but also with retaliation for speaking up about it.

"I received a rent increase notice of 6% the day after the Sac Bee published my story,” Mutchler said. “I again reached out to her regarding the roof, the rodents and the electrical problems to no avail."

She said after sharing her complaints in television reports, she got a 30-day notice to vacate her house the next day.

More complaints to City Council came during Tuesday's public comment period. Some waited four hours to speak.

Council members decided to further investigate cabins and safe parking lots for the homeless but there was no action taken regarding the initiative.

Providing answers online, the mayor said those behind the initiative originally agreed to the city's compromise and that if people start going back on their word, the political system falls apart.

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