On April 27, the Fresno Housing Coalition, a group made up of tenants and housing advocates gathered to rally for rent control ahead of Fresno’s City Council meeting. Spirits were high and intermittent chants could be heard outside of Fresno City Hall.

The Fresno Housing Coalition held a press conference at the steps of Fresno City Hall. Speakers took to the podium to remind rally goers why they were there. Among those speakers was Shar Thompson, Thompson is a tenant and the Central Valley Regional Coordinator with Tenants Together. Thompson wants Fresno City Council to support a rent control ordinance.

Shar Thompson (left) waiting inside Fresno Council chambers for public comment.

“The cost of rent is out of control in a city where renters make up more than 50% of households. Fresno has been number one in the country with the highest rate of rent increases during the pandemic, that is unacceptable,” said Marissa Moraza, Campaign Director at Power California.

Rally attendees took to council chambers to address Fresno Council members during public comment. Tenants are asking Fresno City Councilmembers to put rent control on the agenda, sharing their stories about how they continue to be affected by rising rents. One tenant had a simple ask for council members, to help all tenants in the city of Fresno live in their homes with dignity and respect.

“Wages can’t keep up with rapid inflation and skyrocketing rent,” said Karla Martinez, Policy Advocate for Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability.
Karla Martinez (left) speaking to the media about rent control.

After community advocates and tenants gave their comments, the council members were invited to have lunch and hear directly from tenants affected by Fresno’s housing crisis. While no promises were made from council members about getting rent control on the City of Fresno’s agenda, the Fresno Housing Coalition has no plans of backing down.