ANTIOCH, Calif. — Kim Carlson’s apartment has flooded with human feces multiple times, the plumbing never fixed in the low-income housing complex she calls home in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Antioch.
Her property manager is verbally abusive and calls her 9-year-old grandson, who has autism, a slur word, she said. Her heater was busted for a month this winter and the dishwasher has mold growing under it. But the final straw came in May: a $500 rent increase, bringing the rent on the two-bedroom to $1,854 a month.
Carlson and other tenants hit with similarly high increases converged on Antioch’s City Hall for marathon hearings, pleading for protection. In September, the City Council on a 3-2 vote approved a 3% cap on annual increases.
Carlson, who is disabled and under treatment for lymphoma cancer, starts to weep imagining what her life could be like.
“Just normality, just freedom, just being …