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Report: New San Jose Google Tech Campus Will Make Rents Skyrocket

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- A new report paints a dire picture of rent increases when Google moves into San Jose.

An economic analysis by Beacon Economics for labor affiliate Working Partnerships USA says renters will pay $235 million more in rent increases by the year 2030.

"Families who rent in San Jose would be hit the hardest, paying $816 additional dollars in rent just for having Google move into their backyard," said Jeffrey Buchanan of Working Partnerships USA.

The report's finding sparked a small protest of renters who gathered at San Jose City Hall for the report's release.

"Landlords are looking at this as a way to cash in. And the only way they can do that is to evict me and get someone in who can pay more rent," said Robert Aguirre, who rents a low-income apartment in San Jose.

The study was the first of its kind on the impact of a new Google tech campus with 20,000 workers, on area housing.

The report concluded that Google would need to build 5,000 affordable housing units and 12,000 market-rate units to offset the impact.

"We can prevent the rent hikes, we can prevent the further displacement," said Buchanan.

Google sent KPIX a statement which reads in part, "We know that housing is a vital issue and we're committed to invest in new housing in the area, including affordable housing."

Google has not given specifics on how much housing it would help build.

Mayor Sam Liccardo said he is still looking at the report, but disputed that the Google employees in San Jose would all need new housing.

"We are not going to see 20,000 Googlers descend from the sky. If we're just moving offices from one location in Santa Clara County to another and the people already live here, those are people who are already housed," said Liccardo.

But he acknowledged that San Jose, Google and the region need to do more.

"We certainly recognize that Google will have an impact, and we're going to do everything we can to be ready for it," Liccardo said.

The mayor also stated that the growth of tech companies in nearby cities like Santa Clara and Cupertino have been a big factor in driving up San Jose rents.

The Silicon Valley Leadership group said most San Jose voters approve of Google coming to the city, citing a poll that found 68 percent of voters favor a Google tech campus in San Jose.

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