San Jose apartment complex near San Jose college, park west apartments on the rise
SAN JOSE, Calif.
— As rents climb, one of the hottest housing markets in the country is making it harder for people to find new places to live.
Rents at a $2.2 million, two-story apartment complex just west of San Jose State University have increased more than fivefold in the past year.
It’s a trend that’s made it difficult for people who work in the city to find a place to live, and it’s prompting residents and other local officials to push back against what they see as an overzealous housing crunch.
“I’m just worried that the pressure is on San Jose,” said Michael Smith, who moved to San Jose from Seattle two years ago and now lives in a two-bedroom apartment in the complex near the intersection of Interstate 5 and East Main Street.
In the last year, rent prices have climbed at a rate more than 10 times faster than the citywide average, according to the most recent figures from the Bay Area Regional Multiple Listing Service.
That means more apartments have been constructed in the area and the number of people who rent out their homes has increased.
The complex is just one of a handful of buildings that have added at least one rental unit, according.
More: Rents at the complex have increased by 10.4% since last year.
It’s also making it more difficult for some people to move to the city from out of state, Smith said.
Many of those people are young and have families.
And they’re getting pushed out of San Francisco, according the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
Smith said the increase in rent and the lack of affordable housing has left some San Franciscans frustrated and wondering if they’ll ever be able to afford to live in the county again.
The increase in the rent rate has pushed out people who have a family, people who are retirees, people of color, people in single-parent families, people with disabilities, seniors and people who’ve lost their jobs, Smith and other officials said.
“We’ve been seeing rents go up, so we’re worried that we’re going to have to make some hard decisions and if not, then the consequences are going to be serious,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Liccardo said the mayor has asked for help from the state and the federal government.
He has also pushed for the federal Housing and Urban Development agency to provide more resources to local governments.
The San Jose Planning Department has identified a $500,000 grant it can use to help cities and counties deal with rising rents, said spokesman Jason Goss.
He said it’s also helping local governments find tenants with affordable housing options.
But the state’s Housing and Community Development Agency says it’s not working with local governments to provide housing assistance for people living at or below the federal poverty level.
It also says the agency is not able to provide affordable housing vouchers or rent assistance, and doesn’t provide data on how many vouchers or rental assistance are issued.
San Jose has been hit by a housing crisis since 2010, when a wave of foreclosures and homelessness swept through the city, said Michael Fierer, the city’s director of community development.
The crisis pushed people into other areas, but it’s difficult to find housing in San Jose because of the high cost of housing, he said.