San Jose High-Rise Project to Displace Hundreds of Rent-Controlled Tenants - NBC Bay Area
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San Jose High-Rise Project to Displace Hundreds of Rent-Controlled Tenants

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    Hundreds of tenants at a rent-controlled San Jose apartment complex are about to be displaced by a new high rise development. Robert Handa reports. (Published Wednesday, March 23, 2016)

    Hundreds of tenants at a rent-controlled San Jose apartment complex are about to be displaced by a new high rise development.

    The tenants at Reserve Apartments on Wednesday took action to try to get financial help for their unexpected move as as protect other tenants during forced removal.

    Many residents at the old 216-unit apartment complex on Winchester Boulevard said they knew it was an uphill battle to save their homes. A huge new development to replace the Reserve apartments by next year will offer more than 600 units, as well as retail shops and a parking garage.

    The city approved the project and residents will have 120 days to vacate once final permits and other steps are completed.

    "It's going to be difficult to move out," tenant Alex Piryazev said. "It's hard. It hurts."

    The South Bay Tenants Union and the Affordable Housing Network on Wednesday met with councilman Chappie Jones' office. The group is angry San Jose does not require developers to provide relocation benefits.

    Greystar Real Estate Partners is the developer for the new high rise. The firm did offer tenants housing in other Greystar complexes, but at a much higher rate.

    "Some of these are low-income people. This is rent controlled," said Shaunn Cartwright with the South Bay Tenants Union. "So 216 units, which may be 500 people, are looking for more low-income housing."

    Jones' office told tenants and NBC Bay Area the councilman will propose requiring developers to provide money to displaced tenants and, in a separate move, set up a city-wide relocation policy to insure tenant assistance in the future.

    Tenants said even with the city council's approval, the new complex is not a done deal. Groups are considering filling permit challenges citing environmental concerns.

    Jones' office said the councilman will make his proposals on April 19 when the city's rent control policy is addressed.

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