San Jose City Council Considers Temporary Freeze on Rent Hikes

San Jose reduced its rent-hike cap last month, lowering it from an 8 percent max increase per year to 5 percent in a split City Council vote. On Tuesday, city officials will decide whether to impose a temporary freeze on rent increases or enact the new rent cap sooner.

The city’s 37-year-old rent control ordinance was updated for the first time in a 6-5 late last month, despite strong opposition from landlords. It is supposed to take effect this fall, but concerns from tenants has prompted the council to consider moving up the start date to June.

Passing an urgency ordinance would require a supermajority vote, which, as the Mercury News pointed out in an article last week, would be a long shot for a council so divided on the issue. It would only require a simple majority to pull the start date up to late-June, but that would also require more public hearings.

The new rules apply only to the 44,000 apartments built before 1979. State law prevents cities from expanding rent control to those constructed in the past 20 years.

In a Merc op-ed published over the weekend, California Apartment Association spokesman Joshua Howard called rent control “a step backward.” But he commended the city for considering what he deemed more effective measures, including anti-retaliation protections for tenants and a billion-dollar regional housing bond.

Tenants and some council members lobbied for a rent cap linked to inflation, but the council settled on a fixed rate at 5 percent.

This week, the council will decide whether to bolster its rent stabilization ordinance with protections against Ellis Act evictions, a state law that allows mass evictions if a landlord decides to sell the building to leave the rental business. In other cities, landlords have to provide relocation compensation if they sell off a rent-controlled building.

Hundreds of residents at The Reserve Apartments have been in talks with City Hall over relocation benefits, as the property owners plan to raze the buildings to make way for market-rate condos.

Also on the table is a plan to create a compliance registry to make sure people follow the rules. The city will also have to assign more staffers to work on enforcement, since staffing levels for San Jose’s rent ordinance is much lower than comparable cities.

Vice Mayor Rose Herrera, along with council members Manh Nguyen and Johnny Khamis, cautioned against placing too many restrictions on rent-controlled units, which make up just 11 percent of the city’s housing supply.

“Rent control has shortcomings and is certainly no panacea for the housing crisis,” they wrote. “San Jose's current ordinance may have landed on a ‘sweet spot’ that protects renters, preserves naturally affordable older housing stock while not driving out the local ‘mom and pop’ owners.”

While the average cost of rent-controlled units increased by 11 percent from 1990 to 2014, incomes of tenants in those units fell by 10 percent, according to Jacky Morales-Ferrand, the city’s housing director.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 10.04.52 AMIn San Jose, about 28 percent of rent-controlled households spend 30 to 49 percent of their earnings on housing. Twenty-seven percent spend more than half their paychecks on rent. That means even slight upticks can have a huge impact on tenants, Morales Ferrand wrote in a memo to the council.

Most of the rent-controlled units (29 percent of them) lie in Councilman Chappie Jones’ District 1, where The Reserves tenants have been fighting for relocation benefits. Councilman Raul Peralez, who kickstarted the rent control discussion last year, oversees 23 percent of the rent-controlled units in downtown’s District 3.

District 6 claims 22 percent of all rent-controlled units, while districts 4, 8 and 10 each have less than 2 percent of the city’s stock.

According to a consultant’s report, the city’s rent control laws haven’t had a limiting effect on rents. Even the newly lowered cap, at 5 percent, exceeds the 3.4 percent average annual inflation rate for the past 35 years. The average yearly market rent increase for the same timeframe comes to 4.7 percent, which means that from 1990 to 2014, the cost of rent-controlled units rose at a faster rate (43 percent) than rents in market-rate units (35 percent).

Meanwhile, all new units build in the city last year were market-rate, according to a new study by apartment-search website RentCafe.

The memo for this week’s council meeting comes with hundreds of pages of attachments, including the consultant’s report as well as meeting minutes from previous public hearings on the issue. Also, here’s a link to the correspondence on the rent control discussion.

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for May 20, 2016:

  • San Jose may use the Shirakawa Community Center as a temporary home for the Vietnamese American Community Center until the latter gets its own permanent building.
  • Councilman Tam Nguyen will take a trek to Portland to visit a sanctioned homeless camp. The Right 2 Dream camp, founded in 2011, is similar to what San Jose has planned for some of its unsheltered homeless population.
  • San Jose will pay $100,000 to the Health Trust for a two-year effort to house homeless veterans. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Santa Clara County has one of the largest populations of unsheltered homeless people in the nation and the fifth-largest population of homeless veterans.

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

30 Comments

  1. So, if Obama wants Saratoga and Los Altos Hills and Monte Sereno to be less white, does he want white people to move out, or does he want black people to move in?

    Black people have been moving out of San Francisco for some time, and San Francisco has been becoming more white.

    Seems to me that the Obama administration will have to force white San Franciscans to move to Oakland and black Oaklanders to move to San Francisco.

    Let’s start with Dianne Feinstein.On her budget, she should be able to find a decent place within a gunshot of Lake Merritt.

    Ooops. That didn’t come it well.

  2. In drug addiction treatment parlance our city leaders would be considered “enablers”. Misguidedly, they actually exacerbate the very problem (in this case, the ability of people who can’t really afford to live here to continue to live here) that they claim to be trying to solve.
    The truth is, our City Council’s actions do nothing positive other than to stroke the members’ own egos and reassure themselves that they are decent and compassionate people- nothing like those evil conservatives who live in places like Texas and Nebraska.
    But hey, stroking their own egos while qualifying for a gigantic pension. I guess that’s what government’s all about these days.

  3. The drama being played out is not about displacement but about the city budget.

    ARO tenants net cost to the city are $234 per person (-$700 per unit)*, the new luxury condos “the 360″ generates $341 per person (+$805 per unit). For every converted resident from ARO to luxury apartment, the city see a benefit of $575, or $1505 per unit. Even the new medium density properties generate positive cash flow, a $928 difference per unit. **

    The city needs to soften the valuations of these ARO properties to allow developers to come in and buy them cheap. San Jose’s budget can not afford to have so many people living here that do not contribute to, or, in almost all cases for ARO units, drain the budget. These ordinance changes along with careful re-wording on condo conversion, Ellis Act restrictions, and demolition all result in making it easier for developers to come in and take out Mom and Pop property owners. Once they do, some deals will be made to help offset inclusionary housing costs/requirements, but the result will be 20-30% displacement at least.

    The city has two choices to survive the public pension growth that is crushing it now that (Reed’s) Measure B and any other attempt to control costs have been defeated, increase revenue per resident (above) or add 470,000 jobs while keeping the population flat to achieve 1.3 jobs per San Jose resident.** Good luck to that.

    This entire charade is not about rent gouging, it is a social justice smokescreen to make way for a willful act by the council to displace existing tenants to a higher revenue generating resident by destroying the mom and pop operator.

    *This number is for ARO and non-ARO, expectation is an ARO actually losses more money than non-ARO.

    **All info is pulled from “History of Employment Land Conversions in San José and the Fiscal Impact of Land Use”, City Council Study Session April 14, 2015.

    • Oh my goodness….thank you, thank you, thank you. You have hit the nail on the head. My favorite words you wrote, “willful act”. I have been studying the city’s planning department and general plan changes under Reed and Liccardo’s reign for almost a year and the data on this goes back all the way to 2008. Let me tell you for sure…these “willful acts” regarding all the land-use changes they have made and the corporations and city lobbyists that they have on board to facilitate their agenda are very much designed to displace lower income tenants and lower-generating businesses with higher generating housing units and higher generating businesses.

      It seems so incredible to me that citizens are now the problem and the Sand Jose local government needs to boot us all out to solve it. Sounds a bit like when the king of england decided to make life a living hell for colonists in order to keep the kingdom rolling. There will be a time when we all hear the timeless call for “Common Sense” like Thomas Paine admonished us to hear just prior to the American Revolution. If San Jose citizens merely exist as pawns to keep the government running…..it is time to read up on our history and hear the call for revolution.

      For all these commenters here with your “just move” mentality. Here’s an article for you about a business that was displaced by the “smart planners” down at city hall. Should businesses “just move” too? If you can’t cut it as a business person that gets put out by an Urban Village should you stop crying and just move? Fill me in. Commenters that aren’t studying all angles of this issue are not doing any one any favors. The “just move” crowd is ignorant and willfully so.

      http://www.artboutiki.com/#!Vacant-Lots-and-Urban-Villages/c1740/2F152B67-22C5-4C02-9F21-937A13224D14

  4. Too late for me! Already forced all the way out to Tracy like so many others!!! Should have been illegal before disrupting people’s lives in such a huge way!

  5. as I suspect you already know, all of the teenny handful of ‘successful! capitalist white male’ (bet my life on it) property owners [John Galt, Empty Gun, sjoutsidethebubble, finfan…, etcetera] – who always make sure to post their umbrage first (every single time) within seconds [1], as to pieces regarding fair and affordable rents for everyone outside of their circle of property owners -could clearly care less about the pain and social betrayal you endured in having to totally uproot yourself with no justifiable cause; and totally at your unrecoverable expense.

    As all renters, who generally work at least 40 hours a week know, they will be slammed for buying a house they can’t afford – despite putting in hard work all their lives – and they will also be slammed for not making enough at that hard work for inexplicably not being able to afford a roof over their head because so many rental investors are the most self consumed, whining, lazy, venal, greedy ‘humans’ to walk the face of the earth; and there is no way the vast majority of them can possibly justify the stunningly inhumane rent increases in Silicon Valley.

    [1] interesting, I guess they are all gainfully retired (perhaps having gouged renters for decades?), as I don’t ever recall it being okay to be posting opinions while one was either CHARGING FOR, or being paid for, Company Business during normal business hours.

    • What everyone should take umbrage are the racist and sexist comments made in this post. As Smokey pointed out, this type of attitude is not looking for a solution, just trying to rally up class rage.

      Property owners do not set land use rules, negotiate public pensions, hire city employees, or manage water rights. As I pointed out in the prior post, this is not a class warfare situation as Diane is trying to make it out to be. This is about the budget and future development. ARO property owners and tenants are two sides of the same coin and the city can not afford either of them. If both disappeared tomorrow, the city manager would spin in his chair for an hour.

      If the council was so adamant to fix this, they would build build build which would create jobs jobs jobs. It would also result in a massive deterioration of property prices and rent levels, raise middle incomes, and dramatically improve the quality of housing. But they don’t because to house more low income residents would break the city budget. San Jose would not (and still may not) make it through the next downturn. It may very well file for bankruptcy like San Bernardino, Vallejo, etc. And that is not even considering the water and transpiration infrastructure that would be needed. The mayor has already pined that San Jose is already broke in these “good times”. They need these ARO buildings gone and replaced with medium and high density apartments that generate positive cash flow, not loses. Just look at Envision 2040.

      The only people in San Jose that want and need low income housing people in San Jose are in fact the ARO property owners. The city is the one acting on a classist agenda, and the tenant rights activists are biting hook line and sinker.

    • Well no Diane I don’t own rental property,
      My slumlord 93 year old mother does and I have interest in keeping her living in style in assisted living, costing $6500+ a month. We hope we can get $3500-3800 a month for her place, the rest comes from savings and a small pension. We have spent nearly $10,000 fixing things up so far, renting storage space and 6 months of weekends working on it. Still we have carpets and blinds to put in maybe another 10 G’s.

      Being a big time renter I have to ask, how much of a cleaning deposit should we ask for in case someone wants to use the place as a grow house or a crack lab, personally I’m hoping for a nice Madam with a small brothel on legal age girls and no children as they are much neater and keep house well. Do we charge extra for a legal gardener and is the pool upkeep tax deductible ? If they are running a grow house is the electric and water bill extra or rolled into the rent?

      As I explained to Jill a few days ago I worked not 40 hrs a week but 60-70 to buy my home.
      I rented a room for 4 and a half years to save money I drove old cars, changed my own oil, 30-45 miles each way to work. I wired projects for people on the side. When I did buy a home I paid 11% in interest to BofA for about 10 years.
      I rented a room to a friend for ten year to make ends meet.

      I now have a bulging disc in my back and an artificial knee that keep me off the ground and out of work these last few years so my wife worked on.

      So forgive me if I’m a little short with a bunch of whiny snot nosed socialist types that think the world owes them something. The world owes you nothing, It gave you life and an opportunity, and in this country you have the greatest chance to succeed at whatever the hell you want to do, Try not to screw it up!

      California is not easy street, it just looks like it, if it’s to hard for you here go back to Alabama or Mississippi.
      I’m getting out I can’t afford to stay here we are just finishing up business and getting ready to move on, can’t wait.
      Want to buy a house?

  6. I had intended my above comment as a very outraged and sympathetic response to Lee Ann, who never should have been forced to uproot herself.

    Sickeningly, Santa Clara County has been at odds with the Nationwide average of females able to afford living in any given area, for over a decade now, Santa Clara is more on par with the “Deep South” (Alabama, Mississippi, etcetera) as to that particular, and brutal, economic survival inequality.

  7. Diane,

    I am not a landlord, just a retired observer of this attempt to reverse-gouge those who provide housing.

    From the article:

    Even the newly lowered cap, at 5 percent, exceeds the 3.4 percent average annual inflation rate for the past 35 years.

    Fine. And with inflation beginning to rise again, will that 5% cap be lifted? As if.

    Then who pays for the deadbeat tenants who skip out? What about normal wear and tear, not to mention the beating that rentals take from folks who don’t care about others’ property? What about evictions for non-payment of rent? Should the property owners just let that slide? Would that be fair to the ones who do pay their rent?

    Certainly that 1.6% difference is more than eaten up by just those problems. And just as certainly, there are other problems that cost property owners money.

    Do you think the city council would limit its own pay raises to such a small amount? All they’re doing is pandering. They simply count the number of tenant votes versus the number of rental property owners’ votes; a no-brainer.

    Did you ever consider why rents are so high? Here, I’ll help you out: we live in a valley — a bowl, and it’s all built up. There’s no extra land to build on. One solution would be to encourage high rise apartments that provide for 60 – 80 or more units per acre, instead of 12 – 24. But the same city council isn’t interested in solutions. San Francisco has hundreds of high rises. Why not here?

    Finally, why should a problem that’s been created by an area having numerous high paid jobs and a great climate, which brings in lots of people, be paid for by a very small segment of the population? Food stamps, welfare, EBT cards, free medical care, etc., are all paid for by the population as a whole. Why should the burden of higher rents be borne only by the folks who provide housing?

    And what about the renters who can afford it? There are plenty of people who make more than the mom and pop landlords you’re hating on. Why should property owners subsidize wealthy renters?

    It irks me when someone presumes to know other peoples’ motives (“…all of the teenny handful of ‘successful! capitalist white male’ (bet my life on it) property owners [John Galt, Empty Gun, sjoutsidethebubble, finfan…, etcetera]… could clearly care less about the pain and social betrayal… with no justifiable cause…”&etc.

    How would you know any of that? Are you a mind reader?

    You’re not looking for any solution, other than to stick it to the folks who provide housing. But they didn’t create the imbalance. If it’s a societal problem, then society should bear the burden. But I suspect that’s not your idea of how to fix things.

  8. That’s priceless Smokey, clearly you aren’t a renter, and say your not a landlord, yet write a long dialogue about angelic landlords who are only landlords so they can provide housing (which flat out bull) and horrid renters who destroy the apartments they live in. You categorize renters as if they’re unclean low lifes who don’t work much and have no human right to stay in the neighborhoods they’ve rented in for decades. I’d guess you’re also a blowhard who condemns those who buy homes they can’t really afford while trying to escape being annually gouged by obscene rent increases and the ugly stigma that horrid people like you attach to everyone who rents. You’re the one pretending to know things you clearly haven’t even experienced, not me.

    I’ve rented most of my life, paid my rent on time all of my life and poured a lot of time and money out of my own pocket into making a few of them livable. All but one of my landlords (the current one, a wonderful human being who sighs at the rampant greed in Silicon Valley) have been mean, small minded, frighteningly abusive of privacy rights and negligent with their property. I could tell you horror stories. I’ll bet that there are more landlords negligent in keeping their properties up than those who rent them, that’s been my experience. The vast majority of renters want to live in a nice environment.

    The doubling of rents over the last few years on people who have been living in those same apartments for years and all of a sudden can’t afford to, is no more justifiable than if ones mortgage were inexplicably increased after they bought a home and should be considered illegal. Those apartments are their homes, and they are actually TAX PAYING CITIZENS JUST LIKE YOU, many likely living here just as long as you have; but apparently you and your fellow renter bashers don’t think those renters deserve a home.

    I know the solution Smokey, the solution is to not mercilessly gouge people, $2,500 for a one bedroom apartment, particularly when the apartment[s] has/have been owned by the same party for years; that’s obscene robbery.

  9. Adding to my last comment, the utterly inhumane thing is: that the lowest paid workers (predominantly: females; blacks; hispanics; and older persons), are the ones performing the work that makes humans happy, feeling cared for …a reason to stay alive.

    Oh, and Empty Gun (a shooter are you?), how dare you. My brothers and I saved our mother from a horrid California Skilled Rehab, she’s 90 and we don’t obscenely gouge anyone to do so.

    Lastly, I ‘ll lay odds that your dad was the one making the white male wage which afforded that rental property in Silicon Valley. Nothing wrong with making an affordable living at all, as long as one acknowledges the historic scales utterly slanted towards white ‘Educated’ males (and Pedigreed Foreign wanna be despots with State Department Visas, and I’m not talking about HB-1s, more in the line of Operation Paperclip, etcetera.) in this country, and DOD Subsidized California, in particular.

    My ‘white’ Dad, an engineer, with widely admired patents to his name, and brothers were/are wonderful human beings, because they acknowledged that hideous and unfair advantage far more than most.

    (and believe me, you do not want to compare unemployed/can no longer afford to live where I’ve lived for decades/medical woes with me SNOT NOSE SOCIALIST, your words, not mine. Why don’t you go back to work? DUH. Unlike you, one of my (still hard working, with insane, unjustifiable, and unrelenting annual rent increases) brothers and I have no options outside of homelessness if the rent becomes unaffordable. Don’t worry though, I won’t be defecating in front of your home, I will commit suicide if it comes to that, I couldn’t bear the stench of the meanness that emanates towards the exponentially increasing homeless – in this Valley of Historic Public/DOD Subsidized Billionaires – from the likes of those who dominate this website every time the subject of Human Shelter comes up.)

    • Diane you’re so angry, are you sure not a white male Republican?

      You really need to check those skilled care out places out they were costing us $12,000 a month till me and my brother moved her out of her house. Hope your mother is not living under a bridge now!

      How dare you pick on my late father who served this great country in WWII put himself through collage and died painfully a year and a half after retirement, worked for less than I made as a skilled tradesman all his life. My mother was a scientist, and artist that to make ends meet, made clothing for us, reupholstered furniture. When we got older she taught math, science, home economics in local high schools. What she lives on was investments she grew from left overs from her parents.

      Her parents built their own business during the great depression losing the business twice but finally succeeding in the 50’s only to have my grandfather pass away 6 months later.
      One of my father’s brothers died before he could retire age 67 his other brother died at 68. These bad old white men
      both were teachers worked all their live to suport their families and teach skills to people so they to could suport theirs.
      Being from the Bronx that meant teaching people of every colors, religions, and at least two sexies. Now there just dead white men!

      If you don’t want subsidised NASA billionaires running the valley you’re going to put even more people out of work.
      Until Americans get back to educating our kids to be engineers and scientist, insted lawyers and social engineers,
      you will see those pedigree foreigners sucking up jobs Americans are too stupid or lazy to do.

      You and your like seem to be dominating this website just fine along with every tax sucking politician for 150 miles,
      you’re winning, and you only want more as does every other “Whiny Snot Nosed Socialist”.

      Now my gun is empty but, I can reload if you’d like to go another round!

      Stay off the bridges

  10. (and yeah, if it comes to that suicide, believe me I’ll be naming names up until my last breath. Gee, sjoutsidethe bubble, …you’ve been stunningly and uncharacteristically silent the last two days, …can’t imagine why, …could it be that you’re not retired as of yet, and were just truthfully called out as to spending most of your PAID ‘business’ hours slamming those falling through the cracks through no fault of their own….., and so you’re laying low?)

    • Diane, Suicide in not a joking matter. If you are feel this way or are harboring thoughts, you should call 1-(800) 273-8255.

  11. > Gee, sjoutsidethe bubble, …you’ve been stunningly and uncharacteristically silent the last two days, …can’t imagine why,

    Diane:

    I have never in my life won an argument with a person of your intellect.

    I have no hope.

  12. hmmm, my knee jerk about you, sjoutsidethebubble, is: you are a liar, a slitherer, and a rentier: charging people to even breathe air… and recieve sun shine , neither of which you created, yet: you, and your peers, pretend to have created.

    F..K You …

  13. That’s priceless SJ Citizen, first you imply I’m a racist and sexist for stating a truth thats repeatedly being stated (all over the world) about Silicon Valley, and now you’re offering me a 1 800 number (for what? to chat with me while I set up camp under a bridge?) when I quite rationally state that if my rent becomes unaffordable I will commit suicide rather than sleep on the cement and pick food out of dumpsters on top of enduring the merciless meanness and insanity of people such as yourself insanely trying to justify $2,500+ one bedroom apartments barely anyone single can afford, no matter how ‘bright’ they are.

    As I noted, I have a wonderful landlord for the time being, I’m praying he outlives me, none of you will be rid of me that soon.

    • Diane rants:”…when I quite rationally state that if my rent becomes unaffordable I will commit suicide rather than sleep on the cement and pick food out of dumpsters…” A more rational solution than suicide might be to move to a location you can afford rather than slitting your wrists, Diane.

  14. Diane writes: “… the merciless meanness and insanity of people such as yourself insanely trying to justify $2,500+ one bedroom apartments barely anyone single can afford, no matter how ‘bright’ they are.”

    It is, of course, Diane’s right to believe whatever she wants about people who trust the free market, but she is grossly mistaken regarding the identity of those who “justify” the rental rates against which she rails. Opinions do not set rental rates, nor, in large part, do property owners. The value of a one-bedroom apartment is the product of many factors, but the personal opinions of area residents is not one of them. As for individual property owners, their power to affect rates begins and ends with their financial circumstances and their inventory. Just as the most compassionate landlord (with units fully-occupied by loyal tenants) can have no effect on other properties during a time of high rates, so too will the greediest landlord (with his overpriced, empty units) have no effect on rates during an economic downturn. Given that collecting $2,500 a month for a one-bedroom may bring a huge profit for one landlord but a lesser profit for another, it is guaranteed that, as a group, property owners can never be expected act in concert according to anyone’s definition of the public good.

    It is an indisputable fact that the $2,500 per month one bedroom apartment could not exist if there were not willing RENTERS, making Diane’s contention that “barely” any single person can afford it, even if true, irrelevant. As long as there are people willing to share one-bedroom units single renters will be at a disadvantage (they may not like it, but for them apartment sharing is as legitimate a response to unaffordable rates as is relocating to a more affordable complex). The day landlords run out of tenants willing to share one-bedroom apartments is the day the rent for those units starts to fall.

    Were we blessed with competent government the only dominant factors in local property values and rents would be jobs, workers, and available housing, and Diane’s rent would be a product thereof. But because we are governed by politicians dedicated to political power and not good government, this valley, and its available housing inventory, must contend with a powerful fourth factor, that being the huge population of low/unskilled people getting by on government handouts — almost all of them living in rental units. Their impact on housing inventory represents the wrench in the free market works. By creating scarcity in the low-end stock they create scarcity up through the market, increasing rate value throughout. At the same time, Silicon Valley’s well-paid new arrivals, in need of somewhere to live, respond to the scarcity that’s migrated up to the best properties by outbidding longtime residents.

    The more our politicians welcome the incapable the more they manufacture scarcity and need. This is not rocket science; it doesn’t take much intelligence to know you can’t open your home to every shiftless relative and not create a premium on bedrooms and pork chops.

    • Two observations on your post.

      1) The $2500 for a one bedroom is a false narrative. While non-ARO units may rent for $2500, ARO units don’t. This has been flying around for 2 years now, thanks to the SJ housing dept. The ARO Prelim Report, which the dept. published and is cited in this article, states the 2015 median rents for all configurations (1 BD, 2 BD, 3BD) of ARO units in San Jose was $1445, in 2000 median rents were $1400 (in 2015 dollars.) That is 0.22% over inflation per year over the past 15 years. Hardly a doubling every few years and certainly not $2500.

      2) There is a cruelty inherent in CA-style social justice policies that increase demand and reduce supply on purpose without considering the consequences. It can be seen in the housing policies and it will likely have similar outcomes in the labor policy with the $15 minimum. Certainly one would want to come to CA and get access to $15/hour jobs, but those with the least skills will be the ones with $0 an hour and no ability to compete for the job by taking less pay. The Berkeley economist driving $15 acknowledged this problem, but said those are “crappy jobs” anyway. Oh well.

  15. Under certain circumstances I might actually support the notion of rent control. But when our government is actively encouraging the presence of millions of immigrants both legal and illegal thus driving up demand for housing then NO. You can’t have it both ways Don Rocha, Nora Campos et al. You can’t be the primary cause of a problem, then indignantly demand that your intervention is required to solve that problem. And Diane, if you’ve been supporting these socialist politicians and their policy of disregarding their responsibility to the lawful, taxpaying citizens whose interests they are supposed to represent then I have no sympathy for your plight. And when I drive around San Jose and look at all the trash, weeds and ugliness I have to wonder why anyone thinks moving to Tracy is a step down.

  16. Diane says:

    …you imply I’m a racist and sexist…”

    Diane, no one is implying; you have convicted yourself with your own words:

    “…the white male wage”, “white ‘Educated’ males”, “white males”, and more “white males”, etc., and etc. To hear you tell it, it’s all a racist white male plot to raise rents.

    But the problem was not created by property owners (who come in all shapes, sizes, sexes, and races). The problem is a jobs/housing imbalance; exacerbated by local governments that hold down the construction of rental housing — the only real solution to the problem. But your racist hatred blinds you to that fact. Hatred is your crutch; and an excuse for your laziness. Get an education in a skill that’s in demand, instead of sniveling that ‘white males’ are holding you down. They’re not. You’re holding yourself down.

    Your preposterous comments could have come right out of the communist Daily Worker:

    “…landlords who are only landlords so they can provide housing (is) “flat out bull”…

    Who said “only”?? Only you, Diane. And you always manage to throw in ‘white males’ as being the source of your problems. But to rational readers, that sounds pretty deluded in 2016 America, where white males are the new minority.

    Next, you say:

    I’d guess you’re also a blowhard who condemns those who buy homes they can’t really afford while trying to escape being annually gouged by obscene rent increases and the ugly stigma that horrid people like you attach to everyone who rents.

    Diane, your self-serving hatred blinds you to the fact that if they buy homes, they’re no longer renters. And as usual, you presume to know things that you can’t possibly know about people you’ve never met. Personally, I applaud folks who buy their own homes. It’s never easy. But it can be done.

    What you’re doing is fabricating a narrative to justify your hatred. You pretend to personally know the motivation of “white males”, when rental property owners come in all colors and sexes. Your overt racism is a parody of that hate-filled Left: when someone simply has a different point of view on the subject of the housing shortage, you label them like this:

    …you are a liar, a slitherer, and a rentier: charging people to even breathe air.

    Finally, you allege:

    I know the solution Smokey, the solution is to not mercilessly gouge people, $2,500 for a one bedroom apartment, particularly when the apartment[s] has/have been owned by the same party for years; that’s obscene robbery.

    But you never provide any kind of solution, do you? No, all you’re doing is expressing the most vile hatred. Obviously your life has taken a wrong turn. It is going downhill, so you’re lashing out at the people who provide housing.

    But your hatred is impotent, because you have no solutions, only animosity fueled by your consuming hatred. You blame ‘white males’ for your problems, as if they don’t have the same kind of problems as everyone else.

    I would have some sympathy for your sad life if you had provided some constructive suggestions, like I and others have. But all you do is hate on everyone you perceive as being a ‘white male’ — as if white males have it so good these days. Maybe ‘Black Lives Matter’, but white male lives? Not so much, as your comments show.

    There has never been a time in our history when women have had so many opportunities. Companies actively search for females to fill the next promotion, whether they are as qualified for the job as your hated ‘white males’ or not. Women have a leg up on the competition, but it’s never enough for you. You want things handed to you at other folks’ expense, and your hatred gives you the justification you need.

    But there are mllions of women who have made a success of their lives, so it can be done. It’s done every day. Just because you won’t do what’s necessary to get ahead in life is not the fault of ‘white males’, or of society in general. Your hatred is just an excuse for doing nothing to improve your life. Your hatred is keeping you down. And it is 100.0% your fault. Blaming ‘white males’ is just an excuse.

    As long as millions of women improve their lives by setting the alarm, getting up early and going to school, or to work, and saving money, and not wasting their lives hating their fictitious mental constructs, I have no sympathy for you.

    The opportunities are there, Diane. Either make the best of them, or quit complaining.

  17. As far as I’m concerned, every last one of those above, who directed their ire at me: failed their oh so declared humanity, in not providing a wit of comfort as to this despair:

    Lee Ann Erceg May 9, 2016 @ 6:35 pm
    Too late for me! Already forced all the way out to Tracy like so many others!!! Should have been illegal before disrupting people’s lives in such a huge way!

    Not one note of sympathy, nor acknowledgment how financially and emotionally devastating such a forced move can be, particularly if one is single, and even more so – due to centuries old, proven economic disparity – a female.

    Forced to uproot herself from her community as housing prices in Silicon Valley become known World Wide as unaffordable to all but white male VC Angels!; under 30, predominantly white and asian male tech workers, and Real Estate Investors.

    Can’t wait till the bubble pops, those remaining, after all else not noted above have been forced into moving far away, or homelessness, can eat themselves alive for all I care at the moment I write this; because: Guess what, a thriving community desperately needs the services of all those who can no longer afford to live here, but ya’ll will find that out.

    At that point ya’ll can try that 1-800 SUICIDE number scam response (I state that because I can’t imagine what the head VIPs of the major suicide Non Profits make as they repeatedly refuse to LOUDLY DECLARE the deliberatly calculated Economic Despair, and subsequent increasing Homelessness, in the US as being the major factors in the US’ stunning increase in suicide rates) which was so smugly, pedantically and ignorantly directed my way after the sly finger wagging didn’t work.

    Yeah, I now, I should just disappear after providing decades towards the GDP of the area, getting paid 70 cents on a males dollar, as I don’t measure up (to what????????). On what? Silicon Valley has sucked me dry, rent where? after I was so sickenenly prematurely retired despite being far more qualified in my field than those who replaced me? Leave my small family, who also cannot afford to move, or stay?

    And really? move to Alabama or Mississippi? why would I want to do that, when I’ve already experienced the same smug, vulgar and deadly misogyny here? Only difference would be that the white Valley Males, with the most economic power, call it: Logical, Scientific! (while worshipping utter psychopathic TAX CHEAT white males such as Zuckerberg, et al, as Gods); while the abusive white Alabama and Mississippi males, with the most economic power, proclaim it to be Religion! and only worship one idol “God;” whom they proclaim looks and acts exactly as they do.

    • Oh poor Diane,

      Not one tear, my best White Male Friends [WMFs] have also moved to and commute from Tracy, Modesto, Stockton,
      Los Banos, Manteca, Brentwood, Oakley, Vallejo, Oakland, San Leandro, San Francisco and lots of other small towns around here. Others have moved out altogether to Seattle, Portland, Corpus Christi, Denver, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, San Diego, Carson City, Sacramento, Virginia City. I plan on going too.

      One went as far as Beijing China to teach English. My next door neighbor commutes to Taiwan and come home about once a month.

      Oh did I mention most of my neighbors are hard working Asians. Did I mention most of those commuting in are hard working white, black, brown, and yellow men and women, not the color ever mattered all looking for a better life for their families.

      By the way all those women I worked with made the same wages I did and got maternity leave to boot.

      The last 8 years have been hell for the working class Diane, It has nothing to with white males, it might have to do with H1B’s and the guy who’s flooding the country with cheap votes and cheaper harder working labor. Yes suicide rates went up just like from 1976 to 1980 and I knew 2 of them.

      “Hope and Change” didn’t fix your life? Maybe you should vote for the party of Harriet Tubman, she had a terrible commute too.