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Local activists rally to make housing affordable in Delano

"Our rent went up two times in one year."
Delano Rally.png
Posted at 10:41 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-14 01:41:49-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Community organizers gather in Delano Friday night, rallying to make housing affordable for residents there.

“My family and I have been renting as long as I can remember. During the pandemic, our rent went up two times in one year. So, housing is important to me personally,” said Marivel Servin, Organizer for LOUD for Tomorrow.

Residents came together outside Delano City Hall Friday evening to rally for affordable housing.

Organizers with LOUD for Tomorrow are pushing for the city council to establish rent control in the city.

Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio said this is an issue with people’s wages not being able to keep up with rising housing costs.

“We’ve heard a number of accounts say that the rent has gone up between $300 and $500 in the past few years. This is just really worrisome as an elected official, when you get those complaints about, you know, what can you do, and so this is why we have to start having conversations about housing policy like rent control.”

LOUD for Tomorrow said housing costs in Kern County have gone up more than 25% over the past two years.

That makes it challenging for low-income families to keep up with rising rates.

“I think affordable housing is a place where you can live, grow up, and watch other people grow up around you in your community. That way you could live a comfortable, affordable lifestyle without having to live check to check, and not having to choose between bills and food,” said Jacqueline Navarrete, Volunteer for LOUD for Tomorrow.

The event was to get community members to come out, engage with residents and have conversations about housing costs, and also gave out tacos and free COVID tests.

Over 50 people came by to sign comment cards like this, listing their monthly rent and household income, and organizers with LOUD for Tomorrow. Hope that data like this straight from the community could show elected officials the affordability issues in their community.

The organization said the goal of putting rent control in place now is to help more families stay in this community.

“People are like one paycheck away from losing their homes. So, we just really just want to bring something that helps them out,” said Servin.

LOUD for Tomorrow will be presenting community input showing the need for rent control at a future city council meeting.