ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Peoples Housing Project rallied in front of Albuquerque’s City Hall Monday evening to make their voices heard about high rent prices. They’re pressuring City Councilors and the Mayor to pass a resolution demanding the state legislature end the prohibition on rent control in the upcoming legislative session.
One protestor, Danger Varoz, says he wants to make sure no one else is forced out of their home like he was. Varoz was price evicted from his apartment near Central and I-25 after his rent went up $500 in a matter of a month.
“Honestly, I broke down and cried right there in the lease’s office and I begged him to make a deal with me, to cut it in half because I can’t move right now. I’m about to start my semester in school, my kid’s about to start his semester. I can’t afford to do this right now,” Varoz said.
From $825 a month to $1,300 a month in a matter of a couple of weeks, Varoz says he had no choice but to leave his home and find somewhere else to live. “You get hit with this extra $500 in expenses every month and you can’t handle it. All of a sudden, I’m making decisions on whether or not we can eat, which credit card bills I can pay,” Varoz said.
He is one example of why the Peoples Housing Project is calling on city leaders to be an ally and help them convince the legislature to change the law. They’re demanding a long list of changes; including rent not exceeding a small fraction of one’s income, banning landlords from using criminal background checks, and screening applicants based on evictions, debt, and credit.
“It is an Albuquerque concentrated issue, so in that way, you know, the people want rent control, and the councilors are tasked with representing the people in their districts so they need to have our back and we’ll have theirs,” Anna Lee Desaulniers, an organizer with the Peoples Housing Project said.
For now, Varoz has found a new place to call home but he doesn’t sleep well at night knowing it could happen again.
“I’m absolutely concerned about what’s going to happen to me in like, the next month, the next year, how am I going to keep feeding my family? How am I going to keep feeding myself?” Varoz said. “Especially if my new landlords decided to raise the rent another $500, which they’re legally allowed to do.”
For more information on the Peoples Housing Projects demands, click HERE.