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Rent Increases As Apartment Quality Sinks In South Sacramento Complex

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Despite poor living conditions such as black mold, leaking roofs and crime, tenants in a South Sacramento apartment complex say their landlord continues to increase rent.

Lisa Webster is one of many who hasn't lived in Cedar Ridge Apartments for long but can't wait to leave.

"Black mold around the toilet, black mold around my bedroom window, black mold where there's moisture. I have a leaky ceiling in my living room," Webster says. "Black mold where my husband has to get on his hands and knees with bleach, bleachy water. And I'm not talking little spots of mold. I'm talking black mold, like asphalt black."

She describes an odor coming from the heating and air condition units and the security gate's inability to close. She also noted a red Chevy Venture behind her car with a hole in the back window, with glass on the ground nearby.

Other tenants like Christina Villatoro have similar complaints, but she says residents have received notice that they will be paying up to $350 more per month for rent and utilities than they were last year.

"We're gonna get out of Sacramento because the prices are going up in a lot of places that we can't afford. But a lot of other tenants can't move because they are already low-income tenants," Villatoro says. "A lot of them are single mothers who have two, three, four or more kids. They don't have the money to put down a deposit somewhere else."

Villatoro and other renters are organizing to protest the living conditions and the rent increases. Some hope to convince the city to enact a rent control policy.

The manager of Cedar Ridge was unavailable for comment. Cedar Ridge LLP with an office on Manzanita Boulevard in Carmichael is listed as the owner of the complex.

Protestors are planning to meet Wednesday night.

Larry Carr, councilman for District 8, responded to the apartment complex situation, saying "We are addressing Cedar Ridge with our attorney, code enforcement and the rental housing association."

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