San Jose

San Jose Considers Changes to Rent Ordinance, First Major Revisions Since 1979

Dozens of South Bay renters and landlords sounded off Wednesday night about San Jose's rent control ordinance, which hasn’t been changed since 1979.

City leaders are hoping to make some major revisions and are thinking about linking an annual rent incrase of 44,000 rent-controlled apartments to inflation, which would be a third or less of the hikes currently allowed, the Mercury News reported.

They are considering two proposals:

  • Allowing rents to increase at the rate of inflation.
  • Allowing landlords to set a new rental rate after a tenant leaves voluntarily.

Renters and landlords are not on the same page when it comes to the proposed changes. For instance, Rose Wallis thinks the low income renters are getting pushed out of the market. "People are being evicted from their homes and they have no legal right to evict them," she said at a city committee meeting.

But they both agree that something needs to be done to make housing more affordable for everyone. "We have to look at the tools we already have and how do we make sure they're working the best," Jacky Morales-Ferrand, the city's housing director said.

According to a National Housing Conference “Paycheck to Paychek” report in 2015, San Jose is the third most expensive rental market and the second most expensive home ownership market in the nation.

The rent continues to set records, growing 9 percent year over year. And the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,750, which means renters must earn $53 an hour, or $110,000 to afford that, according to 2015 realAnswers.

The city council will discuss the issue again on April 19.

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