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Pricey San Jose Grappling With Displacement Of Low-Income Renters

SAN JOSE (KPIX) - San Jose is taking steps to slow down the displacement of low-income residents, who are struggling to survive in one of the most expensive cities in America.

"We continue to see thousands of families in San Jose receive eviction notices," said Jeffrey Buchanan, a policy director with Working Partnerships U.S.A.

"We're seeing development continue to boom here in the city with companies like Google coming in and building enormous campuses as well as landlords who continue to raise the rents much faster than people's wages are growing," he said.

The changes are affecting longtime residents like Nina Gomez, who has lived in San Jose for 50 years. For decades she could afford to live in San Jose on her salary as a retail clerk. She lives with her son who helps her pay the rent on a two-bedroom house, but they're both about to be evicted.

"The landlord wants the house. She's looking to move back in so the landlord is asking us to move. We told her, we don't have anywhere else to live," Gomez said.
Now, the City Council is stepping in, hoping to formulate a new anti-displacement ordinance that would preserve older housing stock, protecting tenants' rights, and producing more low-income housing.

"We as policy makers have to put these protections in place to make sure that families are not being displaced, wrongfully evicted so they can continue to live here in San Jose," said City Councilmember Raul Peralez.

But one housing advocate says the city needs to take a look at changing existing city policy which works against low-income people.

"The general plan calls for creating 383,000 jobs at the same time only building 120,000 housing units. The math doesn't add up," Perry said.

Nina Gomez says she'll probably end up leaving San Jose.

"I'm trying to stay in San Jose if that's possible. But if we have to, we'll make that move," she said.

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