More than 100 residents and activists in Barrio Logan took to the streets on Monday to protest an estimated 25% rent increase that locals say will impact their livelihood.
Mercado Apartments tenants were given notice in December that their rent was increasing by about a quarter beginning April 1.
“Obviously, we’re going to have to cut drastically everywhere as far as the costs of what we eat,” resident Eric Gallardo said. “Now, we’re going to have to ration.”
Tenants say they believe the increase is an abuse and breach of authority by complex owner, MAAC Project, which is a developer for affordable housing. The developer, however, argues that the rent increase is in compliance with the law.
“While we are committed to maintaining rental rates below established rent restriction levels, we face continuous increases in operating costs and must adjust rent levels to help us sustain the operations of our property,” MAAC Project said in a statement.
Protestors say rent should not increase more than 2% annually and cited the recent affordable housing act. The developer said rent control is a separate issue that does not apply to regulated affordable housing.
Barrio Logan residents have long been worried about longtime locals and businesses being pushed out due to gentrification and rent hikes.