Tenants renting homes in Laurel, Maryland, turned out on Monday night to tell the City Council about the challenges they face from rent hikes.
One by one, the renters spoke out, some speaking through Spanish language interpreters, telling of rent hikes as high as 25%.
“I used to pay $1,320, now my rent went up to $1,630,” said one tenant, a mother of six children.
Another person said that he was working more and seeing his family less in order to make the monthly rent payment.
“Now with these rental increases, I have been obligated to ask for more hours at my job in order to cover the rental increases,” he said.
Many said they loved living in Laurel and wanted to remain in the community despite the high cost of living.
Laurel City Council President Brencis Smith encouraged renters to attend the council meeting and share their stories. The council is considering a rent stabilization bill that would place a cap on rent hikes.
“We’re going to come together and we’re going to do something… I want to ensure you guys know that, we’re working on it,” said Smith.