Big letters in the window of Santa Ana's Metro East senior apartments on First Street advertise affordable units for those over 62 years old but many of the residents are outraged after their rent jumped 10% on Aug. 1.
"After I pay my rent I have nothing really left over for utilities and stuff like that so I'm surviving but it's really hard," said renter Mary Jane De La Riva
The 10% rent hike for a one-bedroom unit in the building went from $1256 dollars to $1382 dollars a month bringing one woman to tears.
"I work full-time at McDonald's and I get a small social security and I still can't afford the raise," said renter Linda Stinnett.
The apartments do not fall under Santa Ana's rent control ordinance. Officials said the rent limits are set by the state are tied to tax credits given to the developer. The city has confirmed that the property owner is in compliance with the law.
Everything I have is a necessity, there's no luxury that I can give up," said renter Victor Mendez. "I can't even think of — I don't do coffee and movies."
The city of Santa Ana and Orange County supervisor Katrina Foley said they are trying to find financial help for these seniors.
"We're trying to help them to find rental assistance to bridge that difference in the gap in terms of what they were paying," said Foley. "We're going to get to the bottom of whether this is allowable under the law for senior living.
Aside from the rent hike, the tenants said they feel unsafe at the building because of the nearby homeless and drug problems.
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