California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law on Tuesday that will cap rent increases for certain Californians over the next decade. Proponents of the bill say the legislation will help combat the housing crisis persistent throughout The Golden State.

According to the Associated Press, there are 17 million renters throughout California. Of those, more than half spend 30 percent or more on their monthly housing costs. The fallout from that reality can be seen in the rising numbers of those considered homeless. A recent report states that there has been a 43 percent increase in the last two years.

Sasha Graham, state board president of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), shared her own story of homelessness at the press conference for the signing. 

California resident Sasha Graham poses with Elizabeth Warren
Sasha Graham (left) is a fierce advocate for stronger renter protections, following her own experience with homelessness. In January she met with US Senator Elizabeth Warren to discuss the need for national renter protections, reining in Wall Street landlords and giving cities across the country an affirmative right to regulate rents. (Photo ACCE Facebook)

“In 2014 I was living in a home with my son in Richmond, California, that I had been living in for nearly 10 years without issue, the Richmond, CA resident projected from the podium. “In May of that year, the property was sold to a new owner. Within a month my rent was increased over a thousand dollars. In one fell swoop over 150 percent rent increase.”

Graham goes on to say that she and her child became homeless for three years after a no-cause eviction. It’s the reason why she continues to fight for legislation that will prevent what happened to her, from happening to anybody else.

“This is just the beginning,” Graham expelled, along with a promise to keep fighting until every Californian has a safe roof over their head.

In a tweet following the bill signing event in Oakland, Newsom tweeted, “Today is historic. California just signed into law the strongest renter protections in the NATION. No one should be forced to choose between paying their rent or buying groceries. No one should live in fear of eviction. It’s about time.”

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