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Activists call for lower rental housing prices in Michigan, "renter's bill of rights"

Advocates call for lower rental prices in Michigan
Advocates call for lower rental prices in Michigan 02:09

LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Michigan has seen major increases in rental prices in recent years. 

Between 2023 and 2024, the state saw a 12.4% rental price increase, according to

Advocates gathered down the street from the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday with a simple message: "The rent is too damn high."

"What kind of power? Renter's power," the crowd chanted Tuesday.

Members of the Rent is Too Damn High Coalition gathered where they say a conference of state housing officials could hear their calls for change. 

"It's just ridiculous how rent is," said Tenesa Sanders, an organizer with the coalition. "I feel no one should have to pay 30% of their income unless you want luxury living, and that should be your choice."

Michigan's rent increase is the second largest jump in the country, and on average, monthly rent in the state is $1,505, with Metro Detroiters paying about $1,671 per month, according to 

"I was actually homeless around 2016. I'm here fighting for affordable rent because anything can happen to you, and we have enough money; we just let the legislators put it where they want it instead of putting it back in our community," Sanders said. 

Activists say they want to see more housing on the market, an official "renter's bill of rights," and a stop to third-party utility payments. 

"It's not fair," said Vonetta Sanders, another activist with the coalition. "It is causing people to move out of communities that have lived for a long period of time or have memories in those places. And if my rent continues to go up, I won't be able to afford to live in my community."

Mikal Goodman, a Pontiac City Council member and activist, said that rental prices are particularly important because vulnerable communities are the most affected. 

"I think it's extremely important that the legislature and the executive branch do what has to be done for such a large number of people, especially in communities that are taken advantage of constantly," Goodman said. 

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