The rents in Silicon Valley are ridiculously high. This is no secret. But the point is really driven home when even elected officials aren’t safe from being evicted. And this recently happened. San Jose Councilmember Raul Peralez and his family after were evicted after the landlord decided to offload the property and then retire.
Peralez and his family, which includes a six-month old son, have now had to move into a new home that runs $600 a month higher than their old home.
“My wife and I would love to have a lot more options – a place like our last place, a bigger place. But we couldn’t find any sort of location that was affordable,” Peralez said.
Peralez went on to discuss how depressing the search for a new place was. They’d previously been paying $2400 a month for a three bedroom house. Now they pay $3000 a month for a townhouse that’s much smaller and doesn’t have a yard.
Plus, the search was made even more difficult, because the family has two dogs. So with limited options already, this further narrowed their list of choices. The situation with the councilman truly reinforces how serious the housing problem is. Ultimately, the incident highlights what little value the city places on its population as now one of city leaders has been displaced.
Ironically, San Jose has been often criticized for not doing enough to promote more housing and to protect the rights of tenants, though Peralez was known as one of the more staunch supporters of these issues. Yet, here is a victim.
The Tech Business Impact
Peralez now has seen firsthand some of the deeper problems when it comes to housing. During his search he noticed how most of the listings appealed to the wealthy, tech demographic. In fact, a lot of it is a direct effect of Google who’s building new buildings in the area. The market is clearly reaching out to people who’ll be working there.
For Peralez the biggest issue is the notion of people who’ve lived their lives here being priced out. He contends that an elected official should be able to afford to live in the downtown area of the city he’s representing.