Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove stands in support of new bill to Relieve Low-Income Renters

Friday, July 20, 2018

SACRAMENTO— On July 19, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris introduced legislation that would provide necessary financial relief to low and moderate-income households, including those in public housing, who are most harshly burdened with economic challenges related to increasing rent costs nationwide.

The Rent Relief Act of 2018 would allow qualified taxpayers, those who spend 30 percent or more of their gross annual income on rent for the taxable year, to claim a refundable tax credit for the rent they pay. Although this credit does not consider the costs of other amenities such as gas and electricity, it’s likely that millions of Americans would benefit from it.

Nearly 50 percent of Americans find themselves in a category known as “rent burdened,” dedicating one-third of their income to rent alone. In California, 80 percent of low-income households are rent burdened and more than two-thirds of those are people of color.

“As we search for solutions to housing instability issues, it’s important to ensure they aren’t exacerbated by the very policies intended to provide remedy,” said Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove. “Across the state and in my district specifically, we’re in need of an immediate and viable solution. The Rent Relief Act would ease the financial woes of low-income residents who are burdened with nearly the highest and fastest growing rent prices in the nation. I [firmly] support Sen. Harris’s ambitious effort to assist those who struggle month to month to simply keep a roof over their heads. This bill exemplifies the potential of government when it works to build equity through effective policymaking – to serve those most in need.”