Silicon Valley’s High Rents Keep People in Toxic Relationships

When she met him, a cute out-of-towner at the bar, she could already picture their life together. An ensuing long-distance courtship kindled the notion into reality. On the one-way drive from her hometown in Washington to his in Silicon Valley, that imagined future began to take shape.

She transferred her course credits to San Jose State University and worked three jobs to save up while living with his overbearing mom for a year-and-a-half. By 2014, they had enough to move into a one-bedroom Japantown flat.

For a month—a brief, blissful month—she could breathe. She felt at home. He felt like family.

“That’s all I got,” says Amanda, 26, an environmental science major who asked to withhold her real name for fear of eviction. “One whole month of happiness.”

Before long, her boyfriend went from affectionate to detached. He got cagey. Stress over his new job, she figured. He locked his phone and began impulsively tilting the screen away from her line of sight. She didn’t dwell on it. School and work kept her busy from dawn to 10 most nights.

On a rare evening off, she invited her closest friend to the apartment to bake jam-topped cookies over wine, cheese and gossip. Amanda’s usually sullen boyfriend suddenly seemed sociable, taking a keen interest in the visitor, who happened to have dated a close friend of his.

“We’re hanging out and he keeps filling our wine glasses,” Amanda says. “Mostly, he just flirted with her, looking through her overnight bag and jokingly telling her to put makeup on him. They’re laughing and I’m sitting there uncomfortably.”

Confused and feeling disrespected, she told her boyfriend to leave them alone. Some sense of guilt prompted her to call him back, as long he behaved. The trio called an awkward truce and watched a movie, with Amanda in the middle. Then, her boyfriend reached across to caress her friend, who kissed Amanda’s cheek.

“What is happening right now?” Amanda recalls asking, jerking herself away from the unwelcome attempt at a three-way.

She marched into the bathroom to cry, half-hoping one of them would come after her to apologize. Nothing. Sobbing, she packed a bag. On her way to the front door she saw her friend straddling her boyfriend. In a few-minute span, he fucked and finished. He later expressed remorse, but more for the brevity than the infidelity.

In a sane world, that would merit a clean break. But there’s nothing sane about Silicon Valley’s astronomical housing costs. Amanda couch-surfed, scoured ads for a room to rent on her meager budget and spent one night sleeping in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

With classes and an internship to worry about, she resolved to tough it out with her ex for another 18 months and counting.

Put Up or Shut Up

The cost of living in Silicon Valley takes more than just a financial toll—it’s often deeply, painfully personal. Skyrocketing rents give the housing market a compulsory family planning effect.

People limit the number of kids they have or hold off entirely. Couples delay moving in together for fear of losing a rent-controlled unit. Or they shack up too quickly because of a rent hike. They never leave or move back in with parents, doubling or tripling generations in a single home. People put up with smaller, stranger accommodations, such as shared rooms, converted sheds, backyard tents and couches or subdivided common areas.

If a relationship falls apart, there’s often nowhere else to go for months, even years. Exes demoted to housemates have to navigate a post-breakup reality that prevents them from moving on. That can become more than just awkward. Increasingly, people put up with toxic relationships or outright physical, financial or emotional abuse because they simply can’t afford to leave.

“Ten years ago, we didn’t need to be housing experts,” says Colsaria Henderson, program director for Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence. “But housing has become the key issue with our survivors. I would say it’s paramount. We never really anticipated seeing survivors priced out of everything, or seeing so many of them make that decision to remain with an abuser or risk homelessness.”

Next Door Solutions, Santa Clara County’s largest service provider for victims of domestic violence, turned away 77 women and 87 children from its battered women’s shelter in April.

“These are all women we would have taken into our shelter, these are people who have exhausted all their options,” she says. “There’s just no room.”

Illustration by Jeremiah Harada

Illustration by Jeremiah Harada

Rent Controlled

Katie Taylor, 28, has achieved a tense equilibrium with her ex by creating some emotional distance despite their physical proximity.

“We try to work together to help each other out and to be friends,” says Taylor, a Michigan transplant who lives in one of downtown San Jose’s myriad subdivided Victorians. “I get free food from work but I don’t have a car, so I barter with him by giving him food for a ride. But when we’re in the car together, we’ll argue again.”

At least she moved out, she says, even if she didn’t get that far. Last fall, she left their shared room—where they spent months aggravating seven housemates with late-night shouting matches that sometimes descended into physical fights—for a $425-a-month space on the second floor. It wasn’t her first choice.

“I was telling myself for a really long time that I wasn’t staying there because I needed a place to live,” Taylor says. “I kept telling myself that I could leave if I wanted to.”

Scouting for a new home, however, made it all but impossible to live in denial. The only options within her price range included dank, windowless basements for $650 a month or party houses with washed-up townies or 19-year-old college students.

“After months of looking for somewhere to live, it all came crashing down,” she says. “I realized that I’m totally fucked. I got really depressed. I would lay in bed all day and cry.”

San Jose rents rose to historic heights in the last decade, while million-dollar homes became commonplace.

The average going rate for a two-bedroom apartment went from $1,775 in 2010 to $2,960 this past February, according to Rent Jungle. That’s a 67 percent jump. The average one-bedroom saw a 77 percent increase from $1,330 to $2,362 in the same timeframe.

More than half of the city’s renters are considered “rent burdened,” which means they spend at least a third of their income on rent. Among those, 27 percent pay at least half of their earnings to keep a roof over their heads.

As a cook at a grocery store, there’s no chance Taylor would be able to afford anything but a place with a partner or several roommates, or both. Regardless, her more immediate anxieties involve cohabiting with an erstwhile lover, which she says prevents her from bringing a date home. The last time a guy spent the night led to a weird, tearful encounter in the bathroom.

On the bright side, the less-than-ideal housing arrangement has forced her to become more diplomatic. “I’m learning good communication skills,” she says. “Now I’m the person who’s saying, ‘OK, let’s work together to clean this place up,’ maybe get on the landlord’s good side.”

Melanie Cauble, a family therapist based in Willow Glen, says there’s a cultural expectation that breaking up means ceasing all contact. For people with kids, divorcees with mutual property or live-in partners who can’t up and leave, a clean break can be all but impossible.

“Sometimes you have to learn how to cope,” she says. “People have this mentality that when they break up they never talk to each other again, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. We’re in this stage in our society where it doesn’t have to be black and white, where exes can be friends or at least remain civil with each other.”

Cauble would know. For a year after divorcing her husband of two years and partner of 10, they lived in the same house. She managed to date and live the single life while summoning the financial wherewithal to strike it out on her own.

“It’s challenging,” she says. “And it doesn’t always work.”

Pity Rent

On the flip side of these unwanted relationships is Paul Gee, a 39-year-old local  landlord who lives with his ex two years after the split.

“I actually feel guilty about how the rental market is, so I let her stay,” he says. “She can’t really afford to move out. I know that. But it’s awkward, there’s always tension and it wasn’t a completely friendly breakup.”

In a two-bedroom cottage, they share a bathroom and, if they can stand it, the living room. To avoid each other they often stay in their own rooms. Underscoring the absurdity of the situation, Gee says, he’s grateful for long work hours and snarled commutes that keep him out of the house.

Though he owns the place, he’s just as stuck.

“Neither one of us can move forward,” Gee says. “I can’t even imagine bringing anyone else over. I’m basically in this impossible situation where I have nowhere to go and she has nowhere to go. But I also totally get where she’s coming from.”

The predicament clouds his future.

“It’s hard to see beyond this,” he says. “I don’t see a way out.”

Nowhere to Turn

For Darlisha Matthews, coping was no longer an option. For a decade, she endured beatings, sexual assault and emotional abuse at the hands of her boyfriend because she had nowhere else to go with four kids and a single income. Affordable housing is tapped out, public subsidies come with 12-year waiting lists and emergency shelters exceed capacity.

Two-and-a-half years ago, Matthews evicted her abuser after he threatened to kill her. But without his portion of the rent, she could no longer afford $1,450 a month. Her landlord was unsympathetic.

In the thick of a white-hot rental market and the wake of her grandmother’s death, Matthews made what she calls “a terrible choice that no one should have to make.” With her two young daughters and one son—the other went to live with his dad—she bunked in their Honda Odyssey or shelters, when there was room. If she scraped together enough cash, she rented cheap motel rooms so they could stretch their legs. Too many nights spent sleeping upright causes the calves to swell, painfully and sometimes permanently.

Most days, Matthews had no clue where they would sleep, where they would shower. Some days, she wanted to die. Despite the chaos, she kept her kids in school and landed a part-time job. She filled out countless applications for apartment waiting lists, shelters and services that might get her family off the streets.

“I was just praying, because I couldn’t take it anymore,” she says. “I would ask the Lord, I would ask my grandmother, ‘What can I do? Where can I get help? Where are you going to guide me to?’”

Finally, she went to HomeFirst, the South Bay’s largest homeless services provider, which found her a subsidized apartment. Since March, her family has had some semblance of stability.

“It takes some getting used to,” says Matthews, 32, from the dining room table of her sunlit breakfast nook. “Some days I wake up and tell the girls, ‘Get up, we got to leave, we got to go.’ And they’re like, ‘No we don’t, mom.’”

It takes a conscious effort to keep her mind from racing and calmly tell her kids, “good morning,” instead of “hurry up, wake up, get going.” However, unless HomeFirst extends their lease, Matthews will need to find a new place within two years.

After two-plus years on the streets, Darlisha Matthews and her daughters have a place of their own—for now. (Photo by Jennifer Wadsworth)

After two-plus years on the streets, Darlisha Matthews and her daughters have a place of their own—for now. (Photo by Jennifer Wadsworth)

Most domestic violence shelters limit stays from one to a few months and transitional housing to a year or two. But finding a room or apartment to rent often requires a year or more of searching, according to domestic violence nonprofits.

Women, like Matthews, fall into what’s called the “shelter shuffle,” making the circuit from one nonprofit to the other to stay off the streets. Meanwhile, short-term apartments have run out of room as people slated to move out extend their stay for lack of options.

“Transitional housing, in many cases, is no longer transitional,” says Perla Flores, program director for Community Solutions, another local nonprofit that helps abuse survivors. “They’re permanent, or indefinite, which is good for the people who have them but difficult for everyone else.”

It can take years for people in abusive relationships to summon the strength to leave, Matthews says, but faced with the prospect of homelessness, they can lose their resolve.

“Everyone tells you to leave,” she says. “But when you’re finally ready to take that step, nobody knows where you can go.”

People in controlling relationships tend to have bad credit, rental and job histories as a result of their abuse. Factor in a host of inequities, like the gender pay gap that limits a woman’s spending power, and it’s little wonder that women and other marginalized groups are disproportionately impacted by rental-relationship woes.

About half of all homeless women say violence at home forced them onto the streets, according to a 2013 survey by the National Center on Family Homelessness. Among homeless mothers with children, that figure rises to more than 80 percent.

Women in Silicon Valley fare far worse than the rest of the country. While the national homeless population counts three times as many men as women, the South Bay’s is evenly divided between genders with women more likely to experience persistent homelessness. That local gender disparity only recently came to light in a 2015 study by housing nonprofit Destination: Home, which urged policymakers to investigate the region’s unusually high female homeless population.

“As a movement, we built shelters to provide a safe place for people to get on their feet,” says Henderson, who has worked in the field for the better part of two decades. “We were a little blindsided by the woman who wanted to leave her abuser but couldn’t.”

Until policymakers stitch up gaping holes in the social safety net, domestic violence victims will continue to weigh their abuse against the prospect of losing shelter. “People do what they can to survive,” says Nohemi Nogueda, a coordinator for Next Door Solution who worked with a single mom criminally prosecuted for trading sex for shelter. “There’s a lot of pressure when you feel you have no choice.”

Nogueda doesn’t know whether the landlord got busted for what legally amounts to prostitution. But a quick scroll through Craigslist shows plenty of men in Silicon Valley trying to capitalize on down-and-out women looking for a cheap place to stay.

The GF Experience

Market forces that keep exes together long after they break up also compel people to strike up relationships they would never consider otherwise. This creates a type of sex work that flourishes in a housing crisis.

Most of the sex-for-rent ads on Craigslist’s South Bay listings seek female roommates and a selfie. One asks for “young, big, well-built, live-in house boy.” Some openly solicit “tenants with benefits.”

“I don’t want to rent to just anyone,” a self-described “sober/professional” landlord in San Jose wrote in a Craigslist ad. “I would prefer a ‘mutually beneficial arrangement.’”

I responded to a few ads to learn about what these landlords expect from sex-for-rent deals. One of them tells me he owns an auto dealership on Stevens Creek Boulevard. He wants to talk about the arrangement in person but can only meet after 9pm at his office or an upscale wine bar in Santana Row. Others say they won’t disclose the details until I send them a selfie.

A guy from Willow Glen sends a photo of himself first, angling for reciprocation. He says he’s 49 years old and lives alone in a clean, quaint second-story apartment with an orange tabby named Hugo.

“There’s only one bedroom,” he says, apologetically. “But I was hoping for more of a live-in girlfriend, just so we’re clear.”

StuckLovers-InfographicIf someone bites, he continues, this would mark the second time in the past few years that he’s offered shelter for “the girlfriend experience.”

“She was young and beautiful and horny all the time,” he says. “But she was also a thief. Found $500 of mine in her purse so I cut her loose. … I chalked it up to experience.”

“Yeah,” I reply, “seems like a gamble, taking in strangers.”

“Loneliness makes one do incredibly stupid things,” he admits. “But just having someone to come home to at night and cuddle with would make it all worth it.”

I ask what he’s looking for in a tenant-with-benefits. One of two types of women, he answers: someone his age or “a young, cute girl who just loves sex.”

“But I’m a realistic thinking person,” he continues, “and I know my limitations and capabilities, so I don’t get my hopes up too high. It would be nice to trade in a little reality sometimes for a little fantasy.”

At the First Presbyterian Church San Jose’s Women’s Gathering Place, which offers meals and a living room-like space for unsheltered women to rest during the day, the attendees tell each other to look out for sex-for-shelter ads.

“The men think they can get a woman who’s desperate but still looks like a model,” says Sally Claridge, 65, who’s lived on the streets since being priced out of her Willow Glen apartment of two decades in 2012. “That’s what they’re looking for.”

Granted, they’ll take what they can get, she says. A year ago, still naïve to the catch, she responded to one such ad.

“Over the phone, he says, ‘It’s yours if you pee on my face,’” she says. “I said, ‘Oh no,’ and hung up.”

Another homeless woman, 59-year-old Frenchie Rogers, laughs at the absurdity but urges caution. At least an escort can leave her client at the end of the hour, she notes, but a live-in sex-on-demand tenant?

“Trapped,” she says, shaking her head. “I tell other women about Craigslist. I tell them, ‘You gotta be careful out there. You gotta be safe.’”

Break Free

Next year, Amanda graduates. She hopes to land a better job with better pay that could finally give her the economic independence to break free of the failed relationship that tethers her to the past.

Though she lost friendships and a love interest, she feels more resilient for what she’s been through.

“I’m mostly a lone wolf,” Amanda says. When she broke up with her boyfriend, she tried to change that by going out by herself, meeting new people, forming a social life without him.

“I mean, you do feel like your life's on hold,” she says. “I’ve survived each day with this person, I wake up with this person just trying to avoid an argument. But I’ve learned to be happy elsewhere.

“I can see the light.”

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.

214 Comments

  1. What a bunch of nonsense. It’s just another example of “Say Anything”.

    So if rents decline, people will get out of those relationships?? As if.

  2. Jennifer, please act like a reporter instead of a sob sister. Do your homework.

    People keep themselves in toxic relationships. Not others, economics, or substances such as drugs and alcohol. Plenty of free programs to address this and a variety of similar situations. SJSU councilors, Kaiser, and insurance programs offer services too.

    Your article’s thesis harms rather than helps. It gives someone permission to attribute their circumstances to factors beyond their control. Psychiatrist Eric Bern’s amusing, but devastatingly accurate book, Games People Play, explores this in depth.

    • This is negative, shortsighted, and actually literally not always the case. Stop being so simplistic. This article was covering a very real, interesting aspect of sky high rents. Notice that word there, say it with me “ASPECT”. The article wasn’t saying this is the only reason people stay in these relationships, but that its an aspect of why people in THIS area stay in these relationships. (You’re a douche as well. I’m going through the comments and calling people with simplistic negative comments douches; you made the cut, congrats!)

    • I remember before white people stole everything ,you could just build your home and live life.Somone decided they owned everything and you have to be there slave for 30 years.

      • 1: If white people stop paying property taxes you will find out white people don’t own it either!
        Did you just float in from a 60’s hippy commune?

        2: If Bruce Jenner can be a girl with a penis, you can be white.
        Guarantee you will be treated just like white people that don’t pay property taxes.

  3. WOW! Must be nice to live in a bubble. I haven’t read comments that are so completely unaware, lacking in sympathy, empathy, or basic humanity in quite some time. Just reinforces my preference for non-human animals as so many human animals seem to be letting their sociopathic tendancies take control.

    • HUMANE BEING WORK IN PROGRESS,

      How much sympathy would you like? I have lots. Empathy, too.

      But the sympathy ends when the ‘solution’ is reaching deeper into the taxpayers’ pockets. I already contribute more than half my income to help out other folks. Not voluntarily, but it’s still real money. I worked for it. They didn’t.

      But there’s no end to the list of things that other people want for the money I worked for, and saved up for my retirement. Everyone always has their hand out for more.

      And since I ‘contribute’ so much every April 15th, I would appreciate a sincere “Thank you,” instead of being labeled a sociopath.

      So, how much sympathy would you like? I have sympathy for everyone down on their luck. Really.

      But I’m tapped out. No more free money. That’s it.

  4. The situation for renters right now is dire. I have never seen anything like this in the entire 4 decades that I’ve lived here. I’ve been working with housing advocates/agencies for decades now, because I knew this was inevitable and because cities aren’t building more housing, this is the result.

    If people were to Google what is being charged for rents, what they want in deposits, what their requiring in monthly incomes, they might just get how bad it is for everyone, not just people in unhealthy relationships, or in bad financial shape.

    I’ll give you an example, a 300 square foot studio apartment is going from anywhere from $1,800.00-$2,250.00, a month. They require first and last month’s rent, and a deposit equal to the rent. They want you to earn 3 TIMES the rent per month, utilities, and in some cases water and garbage. The rent is higher if you have bad credit, if they will even consider you as a tenant that is.

    If you have a pet, add on pet rent, $35.00-$50.00 a month, per pet, PLUS a huge pet deposit. (90% of rentals don’t allow pets. I just visited Animal Care and Services to make a donation. They told me that people are surrendering their pets in droves and are pretty much living in their cars.)

    Veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities, on voucher programs or Section 8 are pretty much screwed, even though landlords get fair market value rents from these programs. One of the reasons they won’t take it is because they are required to have their units inspected and many don’t even meet Civil Codes. (Try Googling tenant reviews of apartments, it will knock your socks off. Rats, roaches, no maintenance, etc.)

    Working families are living in their cars in church parking lots, or on the street. Or they are riding buses all night, just to have shelter.

    This is no laughing matter to me. Renters have the right to expect something decent in return for their hard earned money, and no amount of sarcasm is going to change the fact that rents are highway robbery.

    • Kathleen,
      Yes, the situation is dire and predictable as you state. In your working with housing advocates and agencies, I trust you have insights into root causes and an understanding of economics. The bay area is attractive. People want to live here hence a high demand.

      While everyone ‘has a right to expect something’, they don’t have an entitlement to obtain it. Just as many migrated to California during the 1930s to escape poverty, residents can leave the bay area to increase their disposable income.

      San Jose and others have enacted cumbersome and expensive regulations that inhibit development and raise prices. Regional aspects such as Plan Bay Area exacerbate the shortage. Height limitations, “urban village” and similar zoning restrictions drive up costs.

      There’s no free lunch. Somebody ultimately pays.

      Up until recently, San Jose’s Planning department required grossly inefficient paper plans. I’ve seen developers hauling cart loads into City Hall. In my neighborhood, demolition of a gutted house bordering a parking lot was held up for 3 years. The owner simply waited until the house was collapsing until Planning finally gave approval to demolish it. San Jose has held up development of a vacant City-owned lot that occupies an entire city block (Japantown farmer’s market site). I believe it was vacated at least 15 years ago. No excuse for delays other than dawdling officials.

      What you deem “highway robbery” is simply the price for market meddling. Venezuela (900% annual inflation) is the poster child example when market forces are quashed. Developers and property owners (investors) demand higher prices when their investment revenue stream is delayed.

      I’m not an advocate of unbridled capitalism. But our regulatory restrictions have become so stifling that we’re seeing their impact. Until fundamentals are addressed, I don’t see much relief.

      • I agree with much of what you have said. The City of San Jose is business unfriendly. Homeowners with their NIMBY attitudes don’t help things either.

        One thing that I simply don’t get is people’s attitude towards renters.We pay the equivalent of a house payment in rent for something we’ll never own. So does that mean we should live with bad management/ maintenance and rodents? I don’t think so.

        And finally, I have watched landlords and businesses do this crazy rent gouging before, selling homes for bloated prices, and it always blows up in their face. I’ve seen people leave in droves, businesses go elsewhere because the leases on rental properties are ridiculous. It is about to happen here again. Just watch.

        • Kathleen, you’re right on the mark. I have been forced out of my rental house due to the landlord’s respectful right to give the house to their son. My rent is equal to a mortgage and I had to beg them to accept my dogs. They were wonderful enough to accept them, but 90% do not. I volunteer for the Humane Society Silicon Valley and see droves of pets being surrendered with hearts broken for children and parents alike. It is very dismal situation for renters in Silicon Valley right now.

          • SUE- I’m sorry you are going through that. I have pets too, used to do animal rescue for 20 years, and am grateful my landlord is a pet lover. Too bad crappy tenants with pets ruin it for others. It is a proven fact that people with pets stay longer. Try Casa De Rosa Apartments in Campbell. They love dogs and cats and don’t gouge you too much.

            What I find sickening is that landlords have found a way around rent control and are exploiting renters with pet rents, and outrageous deposits.

            What I find interesting is how many taxpayers are ignoring the fact that Vetting, housing, transporting, and killing healthy adoptable animals, because there are no homes, is costing them a fortune.

            They also don’t realize that the people in this article and these situations really do exist. Their go to response is, “Move if you can’t afford it here.” I feel like I’m in a real life version of Scrooge!

    • Ms Flynn, The article and its thesis both call out for sarcasm, even though I am loath to use it. It attempts to point to high rents as the cause of the most universal modern human problem, bad relationships. This is akin to boiling the ocean with a match, but since that is work lingo, blaming high rent for global warming will fit too.

      First we meet Amanda who packed up and moved here to live with a man she meet on a one night at a bar. Fools jump in, understandable given the intoxication of love, so no judgement. But should there be a reserve of vacant, cheap housing for Amanda to live in once she realizes love does not conquer all?

      Later, we get titillated with a peek into the seedy end of sugar-daddyism with a vivid, if maybe contrived, golden shower reference. Are there no sugar-daddies in Houston, where housing is cheap? Then there is Mr. Gee, who feels guilty about breaking up, but is not dating anyone else either. For two years. Again, who knows the real motivation in that situation, is it high rent, or something else?

      It is as if there was cheap rent, there would never have been Shakespeare. But these stories are humanity in all its glory, young love, misplaced guilt, prostitution, perversion, not the effect of Silicon Valley rents. To try to conflate them is ridiculous overreach, which begged for sarcasm.

      Let’s chalk that up to amateur writing and bad editing. The real story here is Ms Mathews. Domestic violence is no small problem and much more than toxic, but is domestic violence caused by high rents? No, there is one party to blame for domestic violence, the abuser. End of story, no wiggle room, no shared blame. Attempts to cast blame on anyone other than the abuser, which this author attempts to do, only enables more abuse.

      Cases similar to Ms Mathews are widely used to justify expansion of rent control ordinances and eviction regulation. But the thing is, both of them hurt, not help Ms Mathews. If laws are set up to limit displacement as rent control is, the stock of vacant units will be in less supply, resulting in higher rents. Which, given Ms Mathews situation, is extremely problematic. There have been many studies that state low income and marginalized people, such as Ms Mathews, are hurt the most by rent control. The more strict the rent regulation, the greater the price paid.

      • I don’t like the way the article is written either, but her points have not escaped me. The lack of money drives people to do a lot of things they normally wouldn’t do. I also believe there are a lot of creepy perverts out there who are taking advantage of people, male and female alike.

        Having said that, women escaping DV often times go back. It is a fact. I’ve seen it in my work 100 times if I’ve seen it once. I still don’t really understand why they go back given all the resources, and support they receive, but if they don’t go back, they end up with another abuser.

        As to the high cost of rents here in Silicon Valley, and the overpriced home sales, I’ve seen this before and I can tell you, it won’t last, so all the greedy people out there taking advantage of others, it will blow up in your face again. The odds are against this kind of greed being sustainable much longer.

  5. Dear Abby,
    Wouldn’t be nice if we could just stick the taxpayers in the ass one more time so ugly whores don’t have to put out
    for a room.

    Sincerely,
    A friend with no benefits!

  6. The overwhelming majority of people in the Bay Area are NOT in the business or providing rental housing, and therefore, are NOT keeping people in toxic relationships.

    I’m sorry for those people who want cheaper rents than it costs to live in the area, but I feel really good about myself.

  7. Its a fact that the Bay area is attractive to workers. Its also a fact that the minimum wage benefit is set by the Government. That wage can be had anywhere in California. It is a choice to live in the bay area. I lost wages, benefits and saw a dramatic increase on what I had to pay for medical insurance and retirement from the City of San Jose. I chose to move OUT of San Jose and the bay area. No bitterness, no blame (although there is much to go around), just the fact that I dont really care to live in an area I can no longer afford. No ones’ fault.
    Living in a toxic relationship and staying there, has not much to do with the economy, and more to do with the psychological weakness of the individual. If the fear is leaving the Bay Area, that is a choice. Staying in the relationship because you want to stay in the bay Area is a choice. Since when did it become my responsibility as a taxpayer to subsidize poor choices? Oh yeah…….I forgot…..real estate bubble, Illegal Immigration, school tuition, welfare babies………and the list grows yet again.

  8. It makes little sense for people to come to the Bay Area or to remain in the Bay Area if they cannot afford to live in the Bay Area, and yet they continue to flock here faster than we can build housing for them all. Go figure. It is not the responsibility of government to provide or subsidize decent housing for everyone who wants to live here. It is not the responsibility of landlords to subsidize the inability of many people to afford their rental property, especially when rental property is in short supply. However, it is the responsibility of landlords who place their property on the rental market to provide clean housing to their tenants, and to keep that housing in good repair. From the individual point of view, if you have neither the education nor the skills to afford to live in the Bay Area, you can either increase your education or skill level, or move to a place where those levels will enable you to afford a decent lifestyle. The propensity of local governments to spend taxpayer money to subsidize those who cannot afford to live here does not solve the problem, it magnifies the problem. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. There is neither a constitutional nor a human right to have other people pay for all or a portion of your housing costs because you cannot afford those costs. The same is true of food

    • JMO- So where does one get all this money it takes to move somewhere else when you are paying rents that far exceed a house payment today?

  9. A good amount of these comments just think of misogyny.

    The article was extremely well-written and the stories were extremely personal goal.

    John Michael the government subsidizes housing industry investors. Why not the people who actually work in and have lived In the Silicon Valley for ages?

    Women with children in this situation have an incredibly difficult time just picking up and moving out of state. they have children that go to school here and they have roots here.

    Don’t you see that having no sympathy for these people or their situation is not only the wrong attitude but it will also continue to raise the rent for people!!! Which seems to only be benefiting the sick men who are capitalizing on this and exploiting woman! Pigs!

    • Melissa,
      Please elaborate on ‘government subsidizes housing industry investors.’ I’m struggling to think of what preferential treatment housing investors receive that’s denied to others. And of course in an efficient economy, any net benefit that flows to investors would be reflected in lower consumer prices i.e, lower rent or lower rent increases.

      If CA’s housing market were an investor’s dream, then residential housing starts would reflect it. Instead, we see just the opposite. The month-over-month change and percentage figures for the past several years show new housing in the negative realm. CA’s percentage of housing starts falls below CA’s US population percentage and nation-wide starts.

      What’s troubling are 2015 and 2016 figures. One would expect that high prices would trigger a housing construction gold rush. It’s not reflected in the economic data suggesting that investors don’t see a bright future in new California residential construction.

      Worth noting that investors are gender neutral. The returns benefit all investors – not just men be they sick, porcine, or otherwise disposed.

  10. Melissa, ‘Humane Being’ and Kathleen all have one thing in common: they don’t have any suggestions to remedy anything. They just vent. Kathleen admits she’s been here for at least forty years, but buying a house when they were affordable never seems to have occurred to her — and please, no more complaining! It was always tough to buy a house. But millions of folks did it. Twenty five years ago you could buy a house with an FHA loan: 3% down payment.

    But their security wasn’t a top priority. There was always something else to spend their income on.

    So now it’s a “dire” situation. But what solutions do any of you three propose? Other commenters have reasonable suggestions, but those are all rejected out of hand, or ignored. And I know why:

    The complainers want someone else to fix things for them. That basically means they want already hard-bitten taxpayers to dig even deeper, and hand them more tapayer money. But at least something like that would require a means test, so well off renters don’t cash in on a program to help the truly poor (because there are tens of thousands of renters with very good jobs here).

    But is there political will to raise taxes again, and hand that money to people while expanding the bureaucracy in the process? That’s questionable at best. Most people don’t want another immortal bureaucracy created.

    What these ‘renters with no solutions’ really want is to punish the relatively small fraction of the population that provides rental housing, by forcing them to personally subsidize renters — whether those renters have an average income, or whether they’re very well compansated. That doesn’t matter, because there’s a big dose of schadenfreude involved.

    What these lifelong renters would like is to stick it to the hated rental property owners. Yeah! Teach ‘em that all those years of doing without, and making repairs, and dealing with druggie tenants, and deadbeats, and outright vandals, in the hope of providing a supplement to their social security pension in their old age was a fool’s errand. Because these tenants have more votes, so they can simply confiscate what the property owners worked for.

    That’s what they really want, isn’t it? And that’s why there are no solutions proposed by the lifelong tenants here. Because they can’t admit what it is that they really want: to confiscate the effort and savings of others; to take away their savings and income, and put that money in their own pockets — by force of law.

    I’m not a rental property owner. But I know green-eyed jealousy when I see it. And I know when some folks are coveting their neighbors’ goods.

    http://tiny.cc/zf3rby

    • Empty,
      Detroit had a “urban homesteading” program. Still may be available for those that seek free home ownership. The houses were seized after property owners failed to pay taxes and abandoned the property. In return for occupying and rehabbing houses, the city grants title. Detroit ran out of money to demolish abandoned houses and homesteading was the only other option. Abundant green space and bike lanes. Detroit closed a number of streets due to maintenance costs.

      There are typically a number of foreclosed properties in distressed cities. St. Louis for example or the Mississippi river paradise of East St. Louis, IL. See Youtube for a video tour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Pw8Q8JL8g

      Stockton and Vallejo had lots of low cost properties at one time too, but not sure about now. Lenders don’t want to take the full write-off and hope to find a purchaser. Easy to negotiate very favorable loans.

      Much easier to obtain a firearm in Michigan and Missouri too. Which is fortunate given the probability of needing one.

      • Taxpayer,
        I’ve recommended that several time on SJI, looks like you’re one of the few that reads and doesn’t need to
        move there.
        Well done!

  11. WOW Smokey, you are making a lot of assumptions about me, and others you’ve mentioned. Where do you see me saying people are entitled to get a free tax payer handout? You not only seem to have a prejudice against renters on the whole, but are really uneducated about how subsidized housing, affordable housing, and voucher programs work, and who receives them. They pay out at least 35% of their meager income for rent with ZERO tax credits. Property owners get some pretty good tax breaks for these renters and fair market rents too, and by the way, people on these programs either work and pay taxes NOW, or did while and since serving our country, retiring, or becoming disabled. You just might want to do some research before jumping the gun here.

    I would never buy a house in California. I have rented by choice. I plan to buy my home back east when I retire. And yes, I squandered my hard earned money on a college education, paying my bills on time, paying taxes, paying health and care insurance, medical bills etc, Shame on me for working to have a decent life and an excellent credit rating.

    And by the way, I have a wonderful, decent landlord, and great neighbors. That is why I have lived here for 16 years. (I pay for and do my own repairs and improvements by the way, and give my landlord the receipts for his taxes.)

    Solutions to the housing crunch starts with changing the laws that prevent building. Changing laws that gouge businesses and developers and getting rid of all the BS red tape the City of San Jose has will go along way to solving the problem too. (Not to forget the NIMBY homeowners who throw a fit every time a new building project comes up.)

    • Thank you for explaining this to them. I’ve worked for an “affordable housing” apartment complex and you’re absolutely correct. On top of that these investors are holding conventions to teach investors how to make money on these tax breaks. I’ll never forget what one was called “capitalizing on renewed optimism.”

      • Now hold on a minute…they ONLY pay 35% of their “meager” income toward housing? Unlike the middle class workers scraping by, who pay upwards of 65%? And where does this “meager income” come from? Welfare? HUD funds? Again, taxpayer money.
        Firefighters, Police Officers, Nurses, Teachers, etc…have made choices to live OUTSIDE of San Jose for the very reasons you cite having to subsidize those people who cant afford to live there! So the responsible people who make the rational decision to move someplace they can afford, have to foot the bill for those who cant afford to live here, but refuse to move?
        And Melissa, dont think “we” are blind enough to drink the kool-aid you are pouring. To think its “free” money and handouts for people WANTING to stay in a place they cant afford. “We” deserve all of the tax breaks we can get, because the welfare recipients, poor and undocumented manipulate the system to get as much as THEY can get from us.

        • BOHICA- What middle class? I don’t see anything but poor and rich! Everyone, regardless of income, is taking a hit right now. Is it fair, hell no, but it is what it is because we allow our politicians to get a way with not acting quickly and sensibly. We don’t hold them accountable nor do we demand oversight for the money these programs they give to get. They are too depend on lobbyists to get where they are.

          In answer to your question, Many are living on Social Security Disability or retirement benefits, Military retirement benefits, or actively serving in the service, are working poor who DO pay taxes, and yes some Welfare payments. Welfare NOW requires people to work or go to school, so does HUD, unless you are a senior, or disabled. Try paying 35% of $500.00-$900.00 a month a live on that.

          And by the way- I completely reject your claim that Police, Fire, and teachers move outside the City to subsidize housing for others. You move because rents and housing is cheaper, just like everyone else is and has been doing for at least a decade now.

          Your taxes pay very little towards helping the less fortunate and these programs. Go research it for yourself. More taxes are going toward public safety, streets, etc. Oh yes, and toward over bloated politician’s pay checks and benefits.

          • You just answered my question. Yes, they move for the same reason anyone else who cant afford to live here should move.
            I never claimed “we” as firefighters, police officers, etc….”we” refers to all those who DONT take the handouts;.
            And whats the difference between 35% of $500 versus 65% of $100,000? I earn more, but I pay more. Basic math.

          • Besides, maybe a change of venue would make you “middle class” because you could afford life. You dont see people earning $100,000 trying to get subsidized housing in Atherton, do you?

          • Kathleen,
            BOHICA= an acronym meaning “Bend Over Here It Comes Again”.
            The one you need to apply is DRIP= an acronym meaning,
            “Don’t Return Incumbent Politicians”

    • Kathleen Flynn,
      If you want to change the laws to make it easier to build here you will have to take on the environmentalist,
      That makes you a termite in a land that love trees. You’ll need a back to people movement in a land that hates people.
      Good luck!

      • > If you want to change the laws to make it easier to build here you will have to take on the environmentalist,

        Definition of environmentalist:

        “A person who bought his or her house last week.”

        • BOHICA and EMPTY GUN-

          All joking and trying to top dog others a side: Do you two really think that the topic of this article and what is happening to these women and children is really something to poke fun of and minimize?

          Secondly, what exactly are YOUR solutions to these problems?

          • Kathleen,
            All joking aside there is no instant solution for many of the reasons already explained.
            It takes months to build a home/ apartment after you have passed all the government regulations/ red tape that may take years.
            Government bureaucrats have deliberately built a system here in California, to add cost by way of permits most anything you want to do here. This in their minds justifies their existence. The law of supply and demands be damned.

            The cost of land here is very expensive the reason is simply the government has restricted where you can build. Look out your window see all those hills and mountains around you?
            there is more than double the developed land held for open space in the bay area.
            You can’t have it! You can’t develop it you can’t have a road that will cross it to even cheaper land on the other side.

            If you want cheaper housing it has to be built by someone willing to put up with all this government generated crap, they have to recover the cost of all that crap by raising the rent. If the same government that wrote all those crappy rule won’t let you make a profit after all that hard work no one in there right mind is going to build it.

            So my first solution stop voting for the same people/ pary over and over.
            We HAD a two party system in California, we now have a one party system, now you have one choice with 2 faces selling you the same pile of crap.

            It will take years to fix this mess,
            It will take a voter revolt to fix this mess!
            Most likely California will go the way of Venezuela and Grease the economic disaster that will follow and of course hard working people around the country will be forced to pay off
            California stupidity.

            If you want to fix it you need to go after this entrenched bureaucracy and the crony environmentalist movement that’s perpetuating it.

            To their credit SJI has pointed recently some of the player in this game. It’s about enrichening their lives into yours, and saving their view from the hill, and making you take public transit so they can drive on your street.
            Are those valley billionaires part of the problem? You bet, they fund thouse un-elected non profit .orgs that keep you stuck in the valley.

            It’s not landlords that are the problem, It’s the progressive socialist government you keep voting for.

  12. Taxpayer- We have more than a cost housing crisis here. We have a hiring problem, and business closing down problem. Law enforcement, teachers, and Fire Fighters are refusing to work here because of the cost of housing.

    Large corporations from out of state who are trying to relocate employees here are having difficulties too because their employee’s wages can’t meet the rents here.

    We have businesses who can’t get anyone to work in their restaurants, car washes, coffee shops, laundry mats, grocery stores, etc. because they don’t pay enough to live here. Mom and Pop stores are going out of business, and the rents on store fronts are also skyrocketing, so many businesses are moving elsewhere.

    We were going to buy a home here but we were advised not to because we were told the prices of these homes aren’t worth what we would pay for them. We were also told that this market will bust in the near future, and I believe it. I’ve seen it before. The bottom line is that these outrageous rents are affecting more than just renters. They are affecting public safety, schools, and businesses. People and businesses are starting to pack up and leave like they did before.

    To think that high rents and the high cost of housing are only affecting renters is naive to say the least. We need to change the laws so that businesses and developers can build more housing over businesses. We need surrounding cities to start providing their fair share of housing as well because they have left housing their employees up to the City of San Jose for decades now.

    • Kathleen, The facts speak for themselves and align with your observations. I know that large data centers in SF moved to Rocklin or out of CA. Gap Stores, Charles Schwab, AT&T, etc. Companies that run large server farms place them out of CA. Manufacturing left some time ago. Tesla’s an exception, but only because they got a steal after GM/Toyota pulled up stakes.

      Too difficult to find and retain lower paid technical / clerical staff to support back office and support operations. Santa Clara County is our largest employer and I believe CSJ is #2 or #3. Collectively government is by far and away the largest when all 11 cities are included and *excluding* Federal and State employees.

      That telegraphs a problem – particularly when benchmarked against other counties around the nation. Or when compared to service and admin costs in private industry e.g., outsourced services such as plan reviews. In the City of San Jose’s case, outsourcing a portion of Plan reviews cost about 35% less than city employees. And turnaround time was over 2X faster. Only a portion were outsourced due to labor contract provisions.

      There are only 8 jobs for every 10 working SJ residents – we remain a bedroom suburb. That number has held constant for decades. More importantly, the wage gap and increased and middle income folks are becoming an endangered species.

      So what could be done?
      Employer-provided housing (as was done in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) doesn’t seem viable any longer.

      Lowering government cost reduces the need for high fees elsewhere. We could easily recover much more money than the 1/4 cent tax hike will accrue without regressive impact on lower income folks.

      Our homeless costs have skyrocketed. Cities that have adopted a ‘tough love’ approach have dramatically lowered the number. About 10% have severe mental illness and need to be institutionalized. Institutions are more cost effective than our current mental illness housing: jails.

      Job training and reintroduction: about 45% of homeless have been incarcerated. We aren’t providing vocational training, nor “correction” since about 75% of all inmates get resentenced within 5 years.

      The poor southern county where I grew up used convict labor for public works projects, repair, and maintenance of town and county facilities. SCC has roughly 4,000 jail inmates and 4,000 homeless. SJ spent over $300,000 on contractors to cleanup the Jungle homeless camp. And about another $150,000 on the Spring St / Guadalupe homeless cleanup.

      Convict labor is used to fight fires in CA. A few inmates are used to erect Christmas In The Park. Seems like we should be able to make better use to clear tinder dry vegetation, groom parks, sweep streets, mop municipal offices, clean homeless camps, etc.

      San Diego adopted a competitive bid process. Internal monopolies like IT support, printing, etc, are bid. Municipal employees get the bid when slightly higher (I believe up to 10%), otherwise departments get outsourced. Seems to be working well. Last time I checked, no SD employee was outsourced, but their efficiency has dramatically increased.

      Federal employees receive bonuses. Even some that don’t merit any such as a few VA and TSA employees. But a properly crafted plan could create significant value. If czar, I’d be inclined to reduce mayor, council, and management employee salaries by 20% and put them on a bonus. The bonus could provide up to say a 40% increase (120% of original salary). And increase the employee suggestion award program. The award is so low that recommendations have been delivered. IBM, however, awards up to $100,000 depending on savings. I wouldn’t object to $100,000 payouts if a suggestion would conservatively save at least $1 million within 24 months.

      Code Cleanup
      The SJ municipal code is a hodgepodge. It needs a thorough vetting. Are we doing the right thing? Are we doing it the right way? Since we’re a charter city, SJ can escape a lot of burdensome overreach by Sacramento. CSJ spends way too much on legal costs and outside legal consultants. Neither the Measure B, nor stadium litigation produced tangible benefits.

      General Plan cleanup
      It’s too vague to be useful and omits SMART (strategic, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based) goals. Making it SMART would go a long way in setting council priorities and measuring effectiveness.

      Short term
      To address short term housing needs, affordable and fast housing can be provided by manufactured housing aka trailer parks. I’d OK employers to use their parking lots for employee trailer homes or RVs. It’s not ideal, but can provide some immediate relief. I’ve never understood why low income / affordable housing must be located on prime real estate. Why not provide senior housing in Gilroy, Hollister, Los Banos, etc. to free up housing for low moderate income wage earners close to job sites?

      Am still uncertain how much housing is needed, how much it’s expected to cost, and when it will come online. I’m not convinced that market tampering is the best approach. The best approach may be to streamline government cost and efficiency to let the housing market respond to demand.

      • Taxpayer- BRAVO! Awesome ideas! The RV, and manufactured homes are GREAT ideas! One of my friends also suggested getting the city to relax requirements for building Granny units.

        Too bad you aren’t the Mayor, or the President of the Chamber of Commerce! LOL! We might actually get something done, if you were.

        Thank you for such a well thought out post. I really enjoy discussions with someone like you who takes the time to take EVERYONE’S concerns into consideration.

        • Would have included granny units, but believe SJ relaxed zoning and permit restrictions a few years ago. Structurally, Smokey is spot on about public unions. I was trying to limit an exceeding long response to what could be done locally. Didn’t include it or scaling back CA’s CEQA regulations that have been successfully used to stall beneficial projects.

          • Taxpayer- I have been thinking about your idea of building senior housing, affordable housing and housing for Vets in Gilroy, Hollister, Los Banos, etc. to free up housing for low moderate income wage earners close to job sites. You are spot on with this idea, There is a lot of open space there, and these cities are not a very far commute from medical facilities and shopping. Wouldn’t it be great if they built this housing over shops, businesses, restaurants, etc.?

            I think creating more RV parks and mobile home parks would be great as well, because it is something that could be done very quickly along the borders of Silicon Valley. The only problem would be ensuring that space rents aren’t over the top like they are now. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in a fair return, but what I’m seeing now is just plain greed.

            My friend, who would like to build a granny unit, she said that the City of San Jose hasn’t relaxed it’s regulations enough for her to be able to afford to do it.

            I’d like to hear more from you and Smokey on the topic of scaling back CA’s CEQA regulations that have been successfully used to stall beneficial projects. I’m uneducated about this, and would like to know more about it. Thank you.

          • Several neighborhood leaders / activists / malcontents met with SJ Homeless coordinator, Ray Bramson and staffer, Kelly Hemphill a few years ago. We met to understand the status of a pilot project to house St. James Park’s chronic (using HHS definition) homeless and related matters. Ray advised us that less than 50% of the homeless units were occupied almost 18 months after the program was launched.

            Challenges included opposition to being domiciled, unit abandonment, and eviction due to anti-social behavior (fighting, threats, noise), property destruction, sanitation, excess occupancy, and trafficking (sex and drugs).

            Estimates to rehab motel units for the homeless vary, but $25K to $50K per unit is a typical range. Projects typically take 3-4 years to bring online. We proposed that surplus FEMA housing (virtually free, never used, warehoused) & military surplus be used in conjunction with used manufactured housing. Class A (best quality) used units cost about $10K each. Land, site prep, etc. could be completed within 12 months if fast-tracked. Ray and Kelly would have none of it. FEMA, military, and manufactured housing we were told is not considered “permanent” despite several thousand valley residents living in trailer parks (most are meticulously maintained).

            I asked, “Is it better for someone to sleep under a bridge than to live in a FEMA unit or trailer?” Ray responded that only permanent housing was suitable. I recently read where “tiny homes” are now being considered for the proposed homeless development near Almaden Expressway & Curtner. Tiny Homes are now the latest fad. They just sound so cute and adorable, but look to be about the size of Home Depot sheds. I suppose one will appear on the cover of Architectural Digest if nicely tricked out. But doubtful that FEMA housing would leave readers in breathless ecstasy. I’d opt for a FEMA unit – much more spacious and functional, but lacking cuteness.

            Could FEMA, etc. housing be used to alleviate or significantly lower our affordable housing shortage? Of course.

            Re senior housing in south county, etc. The idea was not to be remote from shopping, health care, etc. There is abundant land near existing facilities in Gilroy, etc. Upscale senior communities (e.g., Del Webb) tend to be somewhat isolated with on-demand shuttles. That’s an option too.

            Re CEQA. It’s every NIMBY’s favorite tool. Want to make a project prohibitively expensive? Raise CEQA issues and drag out adjudication for years. CEQA’s intent is good. It seeks to protect environmental aspects. But also gives rise to cultural, recreational, and other factors that can be used to stall projects or render then uneconomical. The legislature really needs to rein in misuse.

            Granny unit restrictions: please provide details.

      • Taxpayer FEMA is why you can’t do all that housing stuff that makes some sense.
        By the way there is corporate housing in the .com industry around here, you never have to leave your cubicle.

  13. I think the most disturbing aspect of this article is the author’s supreme confidence in the ability of government to solve the problems she describes. Despite the many comments expressing disagreement, I believe Ms. Wadsworth’s views ARE representative of the prevailing thinking among the representatives that we in the bay area have elected. So whatever programs Jennifer believes should be implemented, probably will be implemented.
    Ten years from now, when the “problems” that Jennifer is so concerned about, are 10 times worse, I hope she still makes herself available for criticism. If she does, my guess is that rather than owning up to her naïve attitude and admitting that she had been mistaken, she’ll instead double down on her ingrained thinking and advocate for expanding the programs and spending that had heretofore been utter failures.
    Big government people like Big Government. They have their narrative and they believe in it. And they are invested in it. I mean REALLY invested in it. Career wise, self image wise, and otherwise.
    Why do we continue to allow them to make the decisions guiding the way the rest of us live our lives?

    • John Galt- In some respects I have to agree with you. Many of these programs don’t address the serious issues that abused women and MEN face. Secondly, there is little to no oversight when it comes to tax payer money going into these programs. For example, the mental health system gets millions but my clients can’t even get help. They are put on a waiting list for months! My heart breaks for our Veterans with PTSD and their families. They serve and have served our country and we treat them like garbage. Just sickening.

      I work with non-profits who really do help others who have to deal with tons of red tape to get grants from the mental health department and other government agencies. Some of these non-profits are garbage. Their CEOs are making bundles of money and doing NOTHING they are supposed to be doing. Again, little to no oversight is to blame.

      I volunteer with an excellent Veteran’s organization and just heard that the County’s so-called Veteran’s Housing Voucher Program has little to no housing vouchers to offer. One Vet told me he left the County ready to pull his hair out in frustration. Let’s not include the fact that they wait 5 or more years to get their benefits that they are owed, and getting medical care, after battling denials and tons of red tape.

      As Smokey so correctly stated, our system is a mess. He is also spot on when he points out how the housing crisis is not just limited to rents. He is 100% correct about our electeds too. Politicians aren’t on the ball, and are so far removed from the reality of what the average citizen needs that it is ridiculous!

    • > Big government people like Big Government. They have their narrative and they believe in it. And they are invested in it. I mean REALLY invested in it. Career wise, self image wise, and otherwise.

      I believe you are absolutely correct.

      And one of the consequences of this verity is that reasonable, rational people who know better waste an enormous amount of effort and energy trying to convince the Big Governmentistas that government isn’t omniscient, effective, or compassionate.

      It’s like trying to convince anteaters that they shouldn’t like ants.

  14. I worked for an “affordable housing” apartment complex and quit after year because I couldn’t in good conscience continue to do what they were asking me to do to people. i thought it had to be against the law. After researching it I learned that it’s all legal!

    On top of all of this housing investors holding hold conventions entitled “Capitalizing On Renewed Optimism.”

    • Melissa,
      Nice try – no cigar.

      The convention you’re referring to was organized by the National Council of State Housing Agencies – not exactly an evil cabal of sick men (i.e., PIGS! as you so eloquently described them) that victimize hapless women. “Capitalizing On Renewed Optimism” was the opening plenary talk by Eric Belsky of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and Jon Sheiner, legislative advisor to former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY).

      Rangel and the Harvard Center are staunch advocates for more affordable housing.

      There are abundant get-rich-quick seminars. Many are hawked on late night TV. But NCSHA isn’t one. Perhaps your ire should include Mary Kay, Tupperware, and Amway conventions. Despite being led by women executives and possessing a mostly female workforce, no doubt they exploit women, people of color, and lower income segments.

      Your comments are wonderfully entertaining. They’re reminiscent of cartoonist Al Capp’s featured protest organization: SWINE – Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything. Am eagerly anticipating more of your seething SWINE-like outrage.

    • > I worked for an “affordable housing” apartment complex . . .

      > After researching it I learned that it’s all legal!

      Well, imagine that!

      Providing housing is legal!

      Next thing you know, people providing housing will be asking those who choose to live in the housing to pay for it.

  15. First, I’m sorry Kathleen listened to the wrong people. She should have bought a house or a condo. Because the people I’ve spoken to over many years have all said the same thing: this is a high tech area with very well paying jobs. Those jobs have increased over time, not decreased, and there is no sign of that changing. And we’re in a bowl here; this valley is entirely built up (it was 98% built by the late 1990’s). And as ‘Taxpayer’ points out, regulations are always increasing. Every new housing or land regulation results in higher costs, and less housing availability.

    Put those facts together, and the obvious conclusion is that now and for the forseeable future there will be housing shortages here. (When interst rates finally rise, housing will take a hit. If interest rates go from 4% to only 6%, a big fraction of buyers will be disqualified. So save for your down payment. And if one house is too expensive, there’s no reason why two buyers can’t buy a duplex).

    Those factors spill over into other property, not just rental housing. Commercial property is also affected. I live within walking distance of a very large commercial building that was constructed around 1970. Now it’s being torn down to build either condos or apartments. So commercial space is getting tighter, too.

    ‘Taxpayer’ is also correct in saying that governments need to streamline and reduce the regulations that get in the way of building more housing. I don’t expect that will happen. The problem is systemic.

    The seeds were planted by the Kennedy Administration. JFK reversed FDR and every previous president, when he OK’d public employees unionizing. That has led to disaster, because it is the root cause of the interminable, endless, and counter-productive regulations that make it so expensive and difficult to build housing. It substantially adds to the cost of every new dwelling unit. Furthermore, most of those housing regulations were instigated by special interests that wanted to tilt the playing field in their favor.

    Here are just a few of the special interests that are complicit in the housing shortage:

    First, public employee unions, and their pet politicians: the public employee unions provide a large block of votes. So politicians had best toe the line, or someone else will get those votes. That’s just the way it is; a systemic problem.

    And the problem has become steadily worse ever since public employees were allowed to unionize. Does anyone think unions will stop here? That they will say, “Thanks, that’s enough”? Not a chance. As Malcolm X said, “Power never retreats, except in the face of greater power.” But where is the power to halt the growth and influence of public employee unions? Anyone …?

    So we have this situation: there is no more land to build on. High rise housing is opposed by the ever present NIMBYs, as pointed out by Kathleen. And now we have “community organizers” like Kirk Vartan, constantly demanding his nonsensical ‘urban farms’ that would permanently eliminate the last few buildable parcels. Meanwhile, job growth in the high paid tech sector is still strong, with no indication of abating. If anything, it’s getting worse, and with ever higher pay.

    That combination of factors is causing the housing problem. Facebook’s numerous millionaire employees have already bought up most of Palo Alto’s old neighborhoods, and its juvenile boss is buying up his whole street, for ‘privacy’. Both sides of it. And when Palo Alto is too expensive for the next rung of Facebook fortunates, they move on down the Peninsula, pushing up house prices as they go.

    This problem doesn’t just affect housing. My wife works with ‘disadvantaged’ adults; folks who literally need their diapers changed, and who sit in wheelchairs, and in many cases have an IQ below the first-grade level. A lot of them can’t communicate at all. But now Facebook, Google, Oracle, and other tech firms are hiring their own bus drivers at $20+ and hour, so the disabled students have to rely on minimum wage drivers. Try to find drivers at minimum wage, when companies are paying a third more, and better benefits. As soon a a bus driver job with Google or Facebook opens up, the school’s bus drivers skedaddle. The result: students routinely have to wait several hours beyond the end of the school day, waiting to get a ride home. (Gov. Brown could easily take the pressure off, but he’s too intersted in funding his ‘Legacy': his Train to Nowhere).

    So the squeeze is on everyone, not just tenants. And now politicians freely renege on their election promises without the least remorse: For example, for 8 years my wife and I regularly petitioned the city council and city code enforcement to put a simple ‘limited parking’ sign on our corner (it’s the first street away from a main thoroughfare, so the employees of the buisnesses constantly park their heaps right in front of our house — all day, every work day.) But the city was more concerned with 49er discussions than helping residents. We got nowhere with our petitions.

    So during the last election cycle we went to community meetings to meet with our incumbent district candidate, who was running for re-election. We asked him to help us get a simple limited parking sign. His exact words were: “When I’m re-elected, just call my office. Getting that sign is a piece of cake.”

    During the campaign he was my Best Friend Forever. We spoke on the phone regularly, and several times I walked our neighborhood to pass out his flyers. We pestered our friends by email to vote for him. We put his signs on our corner lot, and we contributed $500 to his re-election campaign. When we spoke on the phone, the friendliness in his voice was unmistakeable. It was also phony.

    Well, he got re-elected. And from that point on, I couldn’t get my phone calls answered or returned, where before, if I called he would promptly pick up, and if he was out he would always call me back, STAT.

    But as soon as he was re-elected, I could never get through to him by phone. He’s never once returned a call since the election. My emails are now replied to with an automatic response, thanking me for contacting him. But our parking sign? It’s now ten years later, and there’s still no sign of a sign. Since his re-election, our district ‘representative’ doesn’t have time for minor neighborhood concerns.

    There was a time when politicians would bend over backward to keep their election promises, and for that reason they were careful about what they said. But politics has changed. Now the only thing that matters is how big a block of votes you can deliver, and it’s clear that our two votes don’t matter. So we’re in a different world now. The rules have changed.

    Yes, tenants are being squeezed. Welcome the new world of special interests, community organizers, and duplicitous politicians.

    Next, I don’t own rental property and haven’t for many years. But I had a 10-unit apartment building in the early ’80’s, when the first city rent control ordinance was passed. I’m well aware of the arguments and issues.

    Maybe I’m a fool, but when Prop 13 first passed I rebated $25 to each tenant. That’s the amount I figured I saved on property taxes (rents at the time were ≈$225/mo for a 1-BR).

    Did I get a “Thank you”? Not a single one. I also wrote a letter to the editor of the Merc, explaining what I had rebated. The few replies from tenant advocates were snarky. I was accused of making it up, even though I had ten apartments with renters who would vouch for it. So I learned my lesson with that: we’re all on our own. And the message is: charity is only good when it’s government ‘charity’ (which of course is the antithesis of real charity).

    As I pointed out, this problem is systemic. I see no real solution. Any proposals will be cosmetic; done for public relations. Because any real changes would step hard on the toes of powerful special interests. So there will be no real, effective remedies.

    Public employee unions are the #1 special interest. For example, Santa Clara Unified just this month gave their employees a 9.5% raise — on top of an 8% raise last year! And their district will now cover the first $100 of medical co-pays. Remember that, when these school districts come to the voters hat-in-hand, asking for more bond money to fix their infrastructure. They neglected those repairs so they could give a fat payoff to their voting block. That’s how the system works now.

    Along with the public employee unions are the NIMBYs. With internet sites like this, and with round-robin neighborhood emails like Yahoogroups, neighbors are easy to organize. Local politicians will sit up straight and pay attention when a neighborhood group says they have 200 – 300 votes. And now there are closely allied neighborhood groups with mutual interests. So that’s where the city’s money and energy will go. Those groups consist mostly of homeowners; they generally don’t represent tenants.

    But housing is in a special category due to the cost. The Section 8 program is very limited for the simple reason that it’s extremely expensive. A Sec 8 voucher pays most of a tenant’s rent. But those tenants are unorganized, so they have no clout. They tend to be at the less educated end of the Bell curve, so it’s hard to get them to sign up for anything, or join self-help groups.

    Tenants are also very transient. So when a politician multiplies the tens of thousands of those in need by more than a thousand dollars each, it’s very easy to decide to spend the money elsewhere, where it will pay off with more votes. Because the votes of transient tenants are just not that reliable. So the teachers unions and other public employee unions get the money. Next are the NIMBYs and developers (fewer votes, but pols need election contributions), and varioys other special interests. But tenants won’t even pay dues to an organization representing them. How can anyone organize a group like that?

    The solution is simple and straightforward: don’t allow public employees to unionize. That would remove the biggest impediment to building the necessary housing. (I don’t oppose unions; I say this as the elected, 4-time President of my union’s Local, and as the twice elected statewide Secretary-Treasurer of my International union). But I agree with President FDR: public employee unions are detrimental to the public they’re supposed to serve. Public employees have always gotten the (very large) benefit of real job security. The trade-off was that they couldn’t unionize. But now they get both, which directly harms the public they purportedly serve.

    What’s the answer? I don’t see any good answer at this time. Special interests have an iron grip on the politicians. Those politicians used to have some integrity, but no more. Now it’s ‘Gresham’s Law’ for politicians: the bad ones drive out the good ones, simply because the bad ones have no scruples, and the naive public still believes that candidates will keep their promises. Honest candidates won’t promise what they can’t deliver, so they lose to the liars. And a credulous public still believes that most politicians aren’t corrupt, despite constant evidence to the contrary.

    I used to believe that politicians would keep their promises. I believed that judges couldn’t be bought. And I believed that all cops were honest. But maturity and the real world destroyed those illusions.

    As Lily Tomlin said, “No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.”

    • Smokey- Thank you for your thoughtful response, and thank you for the rebate you gave your tenants. When we hit a recession not long ago, rents plummeted. Landlords offered discounts, rent rebates, and free rents. They took Section 8 and vouchers programs gratefully. All four of my neighbors didn’t bail on our landlord because he has been good to us, and we love our neighbors. When he offered to reduce my rent, I said no, keep it at the level it is. Why? Because landlords like him and his family are rare. He came here from Greece, worked hard, bought two 4 plexs so that he could help his children and grandchildren when he retired. He’s 85 now and his adult children are now managing the property. (They like their Father are kind and fair for the most part.)

      I couldn’t agree with you more on politicians today. I’ll be 60 this year, and I remember growing up that that their word was their bond. Not anymore. I work with a few good ones, and they tend to keep their promises, at least so far.
      One thing that greatly disturbs me is the many companies that are bringing workers here from oversees. I’ve read horror stories about how they are treated, where they live, and what they are being paid! Outsourcing jobs and not training US citizens to do the work is destroying America.

      The Tech industry is indeed starting to decline along with startup companies. Many are getting laid off, and startups are going bust. I’ve read many articles on this, so I’d have to respectfully disagree with your perspective on it.

      Regarding your street sign, have you called streets and traffic and Code Enforcement about it? They helped me with getting a red curb outside my place.

    • “First, public employee unions, and their pet politicians: the public employee unions provide a large block of votes. So politicians had best toe the line, or someone else will get those votes. That’s just the way it is; a systemic problem”.

      Let me just stop you right there pal. So, fighting an illegal WAGE cutting measure by the city was devised by “union thugs” (not your words, but others here) to strong arm San Jose? What do we do, just let you and everyone else take their anger out on Police and Fire personnel? Screw that, I plan on fighting for my family, and my pay and benefits whether you like it or not. And any tool i can use to combat the same Politicians you hold in such high regard. Which politicians does the Police and fire unions hold in their back pocket? NONE.

      If you think that Cops and Firefighters are “dishonest” because they intend to fight for what they think is right, then maybe you should take a closer look. Most of them have not moved out of the area despite the voting public, but BECAUSE of the voting public. Taking the housing crisis, foreclosures, higher tax rates, their kid failing in school….whatever: out on them does not cultivate any sense of cooperation. Quite the opposite.

      How else to Firefighters, Cops and Teachers fight the assault from BOTH sides? The politicians AND the public seem to hate us with equal vigor. If we fight back, you get indignant. Well….get used to feeling indignant.

      • BOHICA- I agree with everything you have said. I voted no on measure B, and will be voting yes on the new measure B. During the recession, the public was pitted against publicly safety and were mislead into believing measure B was the answer to all of our financial problems. It was a disgusting and unfair thing to do to those of you who put your lives on the line for us everyday.

        The truly sad and frustrating part of all of this is that the public just doesn’t research ANYTHING they vote on, or for WHOM they vote for. I’ve spent at least 40 years of my life fighting to change that, but as you can see, myself and others haven’t gotten far in our efforts.

        Thank you for your service and please be safe out there.

      • BOHICA wrote:

        “…the same Politicians you hold in such high regard.”

        If that’s how you read my comment, I think you should re-read it.

        I’m sorry if I was so unclear, but that is not remotely my position. I hold no current politicians in high regard. It seems you also misunderstood some other things I tried to convey. My apologies for not explaining it better.

  16. Smokey,
    For what it’s worth, thank you for being the kind of landlord that rebated $25 to each of your tenants due to the tax savings from prop 13. Had I been your tenant, I assure you, I would have thanked you.

    Jill

    • JILL,

      I appreciate that. And to clarify something: I didn’t mean I ‘rebated’ $25 for one month. I gave every tenant a permanent $25 rent reduction based on my Prop 13 savings.

  17. “Ray and Kelly [SJ Homeless coordinator, Ray Bramson and staffer, Kelly Hemphill] would have none of it. FEMA, military, and manufactured housing we were told is not considered “permanent” despite several thousand valley residents living in trailer parks (most are meticulously maintained).” Typical moronic response from mindless bureaucrats–it’s better that people live under the Julian Street Bridge than god forbid allow them to live in a FEMA home, which sits in a storage yard somewhere, because a FEMA module is not “permanent.”

    • Yes, their response was shocking.

      Neglected to mention that Mayor Liccardo or Gov. Brown could declare a homeless state of emergency. Hawaii has done so and believe LA has too. The declaration suspends CEQA, certain zoning & building codes (like architectural setbacks), and other restrictions that don’t affect safety or direct environmental aspects. FEMA, manufactured housing, etc. temporary housing could be rapidly deployed while “permanent” housing is provisioned.

      Probably difficult to remove “temporary” housing, but still an option. Currently, homeless “transitional housing” allows someone to remain for 2 years while seeking job training, employment or just kicking back (no requirement for self improvement or work for able-bodied). It would be far cheaper to give them bus tickets to their place of birth and bar services should they return. SJ to Chicago is $145 on Greyhound v. say $50K startup and $1,200 monthly unit cost when the downtown Plaza Hotel rehab is completed.

      The efforts to-date have been grossly mismanaged. Chronic, mentally ill homeless consume over 75% of homeless emergency healthcare costs. Our jails now provide much of this care. The most sensible aspect would be to develop confined “structured living environments” to care for the roughly 10% that comprise this category. IMO that’s the most humane and cost effective priority.

      ‘Tough love” will have the greatest numerical impact. Making SJ inhospitable for vagrants reduces the their population by at least 60% based on experience elsewhere. Just as 12-step programs advocate, ‘Get help, get work, or get out’ should be our mantra. ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’ is another.

      I suspect our homeless situation is discouraging employment and commercial activity. Why would anyone open a business when downtown increasingly resembles Calcutta? A Union Pacific executive informed me last week that UP gets more homeless related complaints and spends more time addressing them than any other CA locale.

      • TAXPAYER: Mind blowing really. Not permanent housing? WTF?

        There are a lot of problems working with homeless. Many are mentally ill and they don’t want to be indoors. I just don’t know what the answer is, but I don’t think throwing them in a nut house is right either.

        • Kathleesn,
          Suggest you read Gladwell’s “Million Dollar Murray”. Well written and well researched. Gladwell (an economic & business author) describes a chronic homeless person identified as Murray. Gladwell uses Murray to personify the class of chronic homeless. Incapable of self-care, Murray cost taxpayers over $1 million in health care costs before his death. His total social cost was of course much higher. I seem to recall Murray died of cirrhosis or a similar self-induced and preventable affliction.

          The article was written a number of years ago and healthcare costs have significantly increased since Gladwell’s research.

          Now multiply Murray by 400 (assuming 10% of local homeless population is chronic). Valley Med & EMS refers to such people as “frequent flyers”. Over 96% of SJFD calls are non-fire related. Homeless ER & EMS responses consume enormous amounts of public healthcare, Rural-Metro, and SJFD resources.

          Outcome data does not support, nor do I advocate relegating the entire homeless population to ‘a nut house’. Nor do I support enabling self-destructive behavior. Confinement in a SLE seems the best choice for them and everyone else – at least until they can demonstrate independent living.

          Permanent supportive housing (PSH)? Of course where warranted – but not necessarily in Santa Clara County. Much cheaper to build and maintain elsewhere or outsource to lowest bidder. We provide PSH for seniors and PSH is far cheaper than institutionalization.

          But, despite CA regulations, I’m unaware of *any* homeless PSH, SLE, or other homeless facilitity that complies with CA’s Community Care Licensing Act. In fact, the director made it clear it would not be enforced for homeless SLE housing or homeless detox / rehab facilities. This was in response to my complaint about CityTeam’s operation.

          Not sure where I filed the letter, but the director claimed their limited resources made them choose. She asked if I prefer that state inspectors ensure compliance at ‘my ‘grandmother’s nursing home or a homeless shelter’. Evidently both was the wrong answer.

          Always important to consider the null case. Do nothing as was the situation until sometime in the late 1940s – early1950s. Charities, like the Salvation Army, Sisters of Mercy, etc. provided care. No public money was allocated.

          • Sorry. Violated rule of using term followed by abbreviation.

            Structured Living Environment and sometimes used to mean Sober Living Environment. Both are similar. Group home, rules for departure and curfew. Usually communal kitchen and bath. Meals may be provided, but not necessarily. Often mandatory counseling attendance. Religious ones require attending religious services. House manager may verify that medication consumption, MD, probation officer, etc. appointments completed. Residents often required to work or engage in some type of work training program.

            Length of stay varies from a weeks to months, but usually less than a year. For some, a group home/SLE is the best option for permanent housing such as for developmentally disabled.

            The Salvation Army operates excellent SLEs for homeless, but there are some awful ones too. Separate SLE types include those in recovery for substance abuse, behavioral / psychiatric issues, developmentally disabled, and physically challenged.

            Gets daunting when conditions overlap. Example: meth psychosis, alcoholism, and wet brain (alcohol induced dementia) in various combinations. Designer drugs have created new forms of temporary and permanent brain damage.

  18. > Chronic, mentally ill homeless consume over 75% of homeless emergency healthcare costs. Our jails now provide much of this care. The most sensible aspect would be to develop confined “structured living environments” to care for the roughly 10% that comprise this category. IMO that’s the most humane and cost effective priority.

    1.) Instead of calling them “mentally ill homeless”, why not simply call them “mentally ill”. Otherwise, you’re agreeing that they are legitimate clients of the SJW “homeless industry.

    2.) Develop confined ‘structured living environments”, call them insane asylums, mental health care facilities, public monasteries, Democrat voter housing, whatever. Build them somewhere on the 50 percent of land in California that is “public land”, and build them on land that minimizes lost property tax revenue. I.e., DON’T build them in Newport Beach, Aptos, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga, or San Jose. Build them on the access road to the decommissioned nuclear plant near the Mojave Desert. The “mentally ill” don’t need a view, or convenient access to the theater district.

    • SJO, fair questions.
      1) There are homeless, chronic homeless, mentally ill, severely mentally ill, and there are intersections – think of overlapping circles in a Venn diagram. Data’s available on each, treatment protocols, and outcomes. Narrowing the scope improves overall problem management and focus. Too easy for programs to expand and fail otherwise.

      The current response to homelessness is a shining example. Millions spent (billions nationwide), abundant jobs, and no positive outcomes. Over 30 years have elapsed and nothing to show for it. Many question why we should continue to bleed law enforcement, schools, and municipal services for a problem that has shown no progress, nor has any end in sight.

      “Otherwise, you’re agreeing that they are legitimate clients of the SJW “homeless industry.” Nope – that’s a false dichotomy argument.

      2) SLE is a New Speak euphemism for insane asylums as I suspect you know. Sort of like ‘inner city’ is a code word for a low income ghetto. I use the language of reformers to drive home the point so it won’t be mistaken.

      You raise an interesting point about location. Gut reaction would be near our prisons. Vacaville’s medical prison for example. Land is owned by state, no opportunity for CEQA-type opposition. Can capitalize on existing prison health care infrastructure and resources. Mental illness SLEs tend to be like Roach Motels – most don’t come out because they are incapable of independent living. Hope that will change as better treatment protocols evolve and residents become capable.

      A problem we currently face is “learned helplessness” and economic incentives. Residents don’t want to leave for fear that their support system will be nuked at some point. Institutional operators aren’t eager to have their residents depart either. Fewer residents results in lower revenue.

      Similar with low income housing. Far better to remain below the poverty line rather than to sacrifice benefits.

      • > “Otherwise, you’re agreeing that they are legitimate clients of the SJW “homeless industry.” Nope – that’s a false dichotomy argument.

        Not clear to me WHY it is a “false dichotomy”.

        If a person is mentally ill, treat the mental illness whether homeless or not.

        There is, conceptually, a simple solution for non-mentally ill “homeless” people: disposable income.

        The Big Hearts want to believe that the solution to “homelessness” is laying guilt trips on the moral, productive people in society who disproportionately produce societies goods and services.

        The labor force data for the last eight years — 90 million workers NOT in the labor force, huge increase in part-time employment — strongly suggests that the current regime has NOT been doing anything to allow people to increase their disposable income.

        Less disposable income, more “homelessness”.

  19. BOHICA- I’m honestly sick of people saying move out if you can’t afford it. You moved, good for you! BRAVO! You’re now a middle class family in a new city. However I doubt that with the cost of living EVERYWHERE, you are doing any better than the rest of us. We’re all one illness or pay check a way from the street.

    I’m tired of seeing mobile home owners thrown out into the street because developers are buying out the parks, and of seeing working families sleeping in their cars. I’m tired of seeing our Vets homeless and hungry. It’s fine with me if you don’t give a dam about it but I do, and I make no apologies for it.

    You are mistaken if you think retired Fire Fighters, Teachers, and Police aren’t receiving affordable housing or Section 8 or vouchers because they do. They PAID taxes, like almost everyone else has, and they deserve a break if they can’t make ends meet here.

    And just so we are clear, Welfare recipients don’t get a free ride anymore. They must pay back every cent they receive as soon as they are employed. The free ride to Welfare ended a long time ago. Again, do some research. You sound really pissed about what happened here regarding Measure B. Well, you’re not alone. My friends in public safety suffered too. So get over it. Things are changing for the better in that regard. Stay tuned.

    • Fact #1-I am also a Veteran
      Fact#2-I am living quite well, thank you, because my house costs 1/3 of what it costs in San Jose (and is twice as big)
      Fact#3-I know of NO Firefighters, Police Officers or Teachers on section 8. They “make too much money” to qualify
      Fact #4-I am very over it. Why dont you get over trying to take more from me and every other taxpayer in California?

      Again, if you are trying to make a statement about fairness, why cant I get vouchers for Atherton or Los Gatos? Why is it that those of us who earn less than the 1% (because you obviously have difficulty with the term “middle class”) have to pay the highest cost to help out each other, when the top earners just dodge through the next loophole? Yep, I am pissed. But not at who you think I am pissed at. Who were the majority of people who voted for measure B? Willow Glen, Almaden Valley, and the wealthier areas of San Jose. You get reap what you sow.

      • BOHICA- Fact: Older retirees can NOT make it on the benefits they receive and most certainly DO get use of the Section 8, voucher, and affordable housing programs. Their incomes are so low and their medical costs are so high that they do qualify for these programs. Many have lost their homes due to medical expenses, and Measure B.

        I don’t think you should be accusing me of wanting a free ride just because I work hard and advocate for those who need assistance. The public needs to stop voting in these idiots who put us in these positions, and create these asinine policies/programs. Have you looked at the income levels for affordable housing, and the rates of rents? Ridiculous! The only ones that are getting a free ride or robbing you are the rich folks getting the tax breaks for renting to low to moderate income renters, or dumping the load on homeowners paying outrageous property taxes for that matter. No one should have to move to survive but many are doing just that. Businesses are closing down because of space rents, and lack of employees. Businesses are packing up and leaving because their employees can’t afford to live here, and San Jose’s requirements are too rigid.

        Like I said, there are no middle class folks left. You’re either rich or poor. And yes, I agree, the wealthy have made it impossible for those of us who go to college, get a degree, pay our fair in taxes to survive. My point is, we ALLOW it by who we vote into office. I’m just as pissed as you are about this situation. Our Presidential elections are proof that people are fed up and have had enough of the old guard!

        • I didnt accuse you of anything, and I followed the article. She does not look like a senior citizen, or an old Firefighter or Police Officer.
          Please try (as hard as you sometimes find it) to stay on topic. If you would like a discussion of the current status, morale, pay structure, true cost of living…..etc in san Jose for firefighters, i would be glad to meet with you to discuss.
          I am here to tell you, where I live, the middle class is vibrant and thriving. San Jose is NOT a microcosm of the rest of the country.

          • BOHICA- I am on topic. It is about housing, the cost of living, toxic relationships, and DV. I’m not the one who went into a tirade about the City, etc., even though I agree with everything you’ve said about the treatment of public employees. (Not on topic by the way, but none the less relevant in its own right.)

            I’d be happy to meet with you but you aren’t going to tell me anything I don’t already know. I have several friends who are Fire Fighters, Police Officers, and Deputy Sheriffs’. I fought hard against Measure B and attended at least a dozen community meetings on the topic. Been there and done that. I held community meetings to educate the public on public safety, etc. I definitely know about the low morale issue too.

            I don’t know anyone who is having any easy time of it, regardless of where they live or their income level. I’m happy that you’re doing well, and are making a good living. Congratulations!

    • “They must pay back every cent they receive as soon as they are employed. ” SERIOUSLY, Kathleen?? Have you got any numbers on who actually does repay, Kathleen? Id’ be stunned if the amount even covers the pay and benefits of those in the bureaucracy who enforce that rule. People on welfare who later get jobs probably don’t earn enough to live on, so where do they get the dinero to repay the welfare?

      • JMO- “People on welfare who later get jobs probably don’t earn enough to live on, so where do they get the dinero to repay the welfare?” Exactly my point! But it is required that they pay back their benefits! It has always been a requirement. I know because I work with clients on it!

        • An unenforced or unenforceable “requirement” is pure BS Kathleen.
          Your rant and that of others against “the rich” who don’t pay enough taxes due to loopholes is misplaced. 47% of adult US residents pay ZERO federal income tax. The top 20% of US taxpayers make up 57% of taxpayers, but they pay 85% of federal income taxes. Individuals benefiting from “tax loopholes” are so few as to be apocryphal. The vast majority of tax loopholes are for large corporations. Also, rich means different things in different places. $150k/year gets a family of four by here; but in 99% of the country, you’re living high on the hog with that income. The entire median family home price nationwide barely gets you a down payment for a condo in a bad neighborhood here.

    • Kathleen,
      Please cite CA statute or other reference about welfare repayment. I find only limited and sensible substantiation for your repayment assertion.

      a. NY (don’t see anything about CA) requires repayment of up to 50% of a lottery winning > $600 when welfare recipient hits a jackpot. Repayment window amount is retroactive to prior 10 years.

      b. CA: Repayment required in instances of overpayment and fraud. Benefits can be reduced by 10% if still receiving assistance. The retroactive overpayment window is limited to 4 years – can’t be beyond that per statute.

      c. Children of CA welfare recipients can be held responsible for overpayments and fraud. Rarely enforced & not certain if still correct. Law suit filed in 2011 and don’t know outcome.

      d. I find no other CA repayment requirement for welfare fraud or overpayment except for jail – it’s a type of welfare. Some CA counties charge inmates for incarceration cost. SCC has declined to do so. Many can’t pay of course. But some can. And some type of ‘sweat equity’ repayment might be a reasonable alternative.

      Also important to note that SCC, unlike SF County, does not ensure criminal justice customers are enrolled in MediCal or Care California (Obama Care). SCC soaks taxpayers when some costs could be borne by state or federal programs. This surfaced during the Blue Ribbon Jails Commission hearings.

      • TAXPAYER- I have worked with hundreds of clients on Welfare. I’m not sure where you would find it but, when applying for benefits, they sign a lien against all future wages, any possible inheritance, or future property they may own, or income tax refunds. I’m not sure if they would tell you that if you called your local Social Services Office, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t. It should be a matter of public information.

        I had to laugh about the over payment policy you cited. Talk about a ridiculous policy. That ALWAYS happens when a recipient first gets the back payment they are owed because the agency takes so long to start paying them their benefits that it results in an over payment. True of ALL government agencies including the VA. An over payment is considered when you get more money in one month than you should have, or are allotted per month. Well DUH! If you get a back payment for 5-6 plus months, then legally you are considered over paid! I have assisted a lot of clients fighting these over payments. I have even represented many in fair hearings. Even the law judges get pissed at the ineptitude of it all. And YES! By God they enforce it! They immediately stop your payments and give you the opportunity to have a fair hearing. (It take MONTHS to get into one.)

        The truth is Taxpayer, if you worked within the systems I do/have, for as long as I did/ do, you’d probably claw your eyes out and scream. The programs this writer talks about, and the systems these clients go through are completely screwed up. No oversight, no real proof that they work or even half way meet a desired outcome. It is just a hamster wheel to nowhere! Honest to God, it is just plain nuts!

        • Found the US & CA statues and read summaries: CA WIC Section 14006 and US Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396). Notwithstanding bureaucratic bungling, the regulations appear reasonable. DHCS Medi-Cal interpretation is often flawed based on articles published by plaintiffs bar.

          The regulations appear sensible to me.

          They are designed to prevent double-dipping / unjust enrichment. But the devil’s in the details. DHCS is cited in various plaintiffs bar articles as failing to properly apply CA legislation or US supreme court rulings.

          Unfortunately, there appears to be few consequences when government fails to follow the rules. Our jail overcrowding problem comes to mind.

        • Yes, I mentioned litigation to challenge children obliged to pay for parents overpayments and litigation opposing it in 2011. The 2011 article in one of your citations, World Socialist, claims officials don’t track the number of such claims.

          If a parent received unjust enrichment of say $3,000, and a child subsequently received a $6,000 inheritance from that parent, what moral or legal principle entitles the child to keep $3,000 of the $6,000? My understanding is the number of clawbacks is low. I suspect that many welfare recipients don’t leave significant inheritances.

          No regulations I’ve seen so far scream out UNFAIR or UNREASONABLE. No doubt there are plenty of instances where where ‘the system’ has improperly administered them. I’d like to think that these eventually get corrected.

          Your references: Huffington Post, World Socialist, and Think Progress are not reasonably balanced sources. They are cited as prime examples of left-wing propaganda. They routinely omit facts that would likely persuade a reasonable person to reach a different conclusion than their thesis.

          BTW, Reddit recently posted photos showing Huffington’s editorial board and the NRA’s board. Huffington: all young white woman; NRA: white, black, latin, male, female, broad age range though most seemed > 40. Don’t recall asians in the photo. The photo didn’t seem to garner appreciation among those that play the politics of diversity.

          We’ve drifted pretty far afield from the original article. While comments have been illuminating, its time for me to cease the dialog on this SJI article.

          • Taxpayer-Show me a news media that gives a balanced, neutral, factual account of an issue and I’ll buy you dinner. Just because we don’t like the messenger, doesn’t make the facts untrue.

            There is no unjust enrichment in these cases. Parents received Welfare and defaulted on the loan, hence the reason their children are stuck with the bill. Children who never signed anything agreeing to allow their parents to get Welfare on their behalf.

            I don’t agree that we have drifted from the article as most of these families are on Welfare, public subsidies, or some form of public assistance.

            You have come up with some very excellent points to mull over with regards to housing. Thank you for that.

  20. > Welfare recipients don’t get a free ride anymore. They must pay back every cent they receive as soon as they are employed. The free ride to Welfare ended a long time ago.

    Interesting. I was not aware of this.

    If true, it really DOES turn welfare into a trap for recipients. Once a person accepts welfare, the price for getting off of welfare gets higher and higher with every check received.

    Was this idea thought up by someone with a big heart, or by someone with the soul of a prison warden?

    • Well there it is, no wonder we have 90 million people unemployed. If you don’t go back to work you don’t have to pay the tax payers back. I think we should all quit working and and turn the US into the people eutopia of Venezuela.
      Maybe Hillary will buy us all lunch.

      • Empty Gun: It doesn’t work like that. You can only collect Welfare for a limited tome, and then you get kicked off.

        Don’t count on Hillary buying you lunch either, she was begging for money to pay off her last run for President.

    • sjoutsidethebubble- LOL! I never said it made sense but it is true. The sad part is that the government’s policy’s make sure you can never climb out of the hole. Look at student loans. Crazy but it took me 5 years to pay my SMALL loan back. I have friends who are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt paying off their student loans 10 years later.

      Our former Governor passed a law stating that people with disabilities on SSI, are required to give all their property to the government when they die after turning 55. People on SSI can’t get married either unless they want to lose their benefits. Just crazy as hell, all of it.

  21. “Look at student loans. Crazy but it took me 5 years to pay my SMALL loan back. ” That’s why they’re called loans, not grants, Kathleen. “Our former Governor passed a law stating that people with disabilities on SSI, are required to give all their property to the government when they die after turning 55.” Gee, I didn’t realize people on SSI died after they turned 55. But seriously, Kathleen, for every dollar paid out in “benefits” AT LEAST $1.50 is taken from some working stiff, with the extra being spent on administration of the giveaway. There are far too many spigots flowing working folks’ money into programs with no metrics and no success rate, with eliminating homelessness being a prime example. The primary beneficiaries of all the money poured uselessly into failed homelessness remedies are the homeless advocates. Stop the bleeding of hard working people and make the advocates get real jobs.

    • > for every dollar paid out in “benefits” AT LEAST $1.50 is taken from some working stiff, with the extra being spent on administration of the giveaway.

      Welfare, student loans, and myriad other government giveaway programs end up being a screw job for BOTH beneficiaries and for those who pay for the programs.

      The taxpayers are ROBBED and the beneficiaries are TRAPPED in hopeless debt slavery.

      Who thought up this horrible, awful racket? And why do we keep re-electing them?

      I think student loans are a particularly odious screw job. Students are gulled into getting worthless, useless degrees for which no one will never earn a red cent, and then stuck with the obligation to pay for their bad judgement for a lifetime.

      Unless . . .

      Unless they go into teaching, join the teachers’ union, pay dues, and vote Democrat, in which case their loans are “forgiven”.

      It would be a service to humanity if President Trump would turn the Department of Education into the Department of RICO Prosecutions, and bust up the Big Education crime syndicate.

      • sjoutsidethebubble- Indentured servitude is more like it. I don’t know a single teacher who has had their loans forgiven. Like me, they either worked half of their career to pay them off, or are still paying them off.

        The reason we have so many rotten and ridiculous policies and programs is because the people making and implementing them have absolutely no idea what in the hell they are doing. They are so far removed from the real world it is just sickening.

        I agree 100%, a college degree is a waste of time. Get certified in a specific area and you might have a chance in hell of making a decent living.

    • JMO- Had I known the amount of my loan was going to be at the rate it was, I would have gotten a better deal through my credit union. I was young an ignorant, but learned a great lesson from it. I had grants and scholarships so I only needed enough for my books. I worked while going to college so my taxes went toward any supposed hand out I was getting.

      As to SSI, when you die you pay. If you die or get off SSI before 55, you’re in the clear. I don’t know how you get something from nothing but I guess our former Governor does. It is just plain stupid reasoning is my point. If you get married you lose your benefits and your spouse is stuck footing the bill because you can’t work. You can only get SSI if you’ve worked, or were born disabled. The reason you get stuck on SSI if you’ve worked is because they take so long to process your claim that your work calendar doesn’t count any more. Yet another asinine program….

      I’m with you on the homeless situation. I have no idea on how to help them, and what it will take to turn this around. I don’t agree with jailing them or locking them up in a loony bin, but I know the costs involved with allowing them to live outside. I do know that the VA is failing our Vets, and it frustrates me to no end. Vets should have some kind of program to help them the minute they leave the military. They shouldn’t have to fight and scrape to get the benefits they’ve earned.

      • “JMO- Had I known the amount of my loan was going to be at the rate it was, I would have gotten a better deal through my credit union. I was young an ignorant, but learned a great lesson from it.” Didn’t you read the disclosures which told you the interest rate? “As to SSI, when you die you pay.” Do you have a problem with that Kathleen? I don’t. For every dollar given to anyone by the government for any so-called benefit, at least a buck fifty has been taken from someone else, with the overage going to pay for those government drones who take the money from one person and parcel it out to others. “If you die or get off SSI before 55, you’re in the clear.” That needs to stop. ” If you get married you lose your benefits and your spouse is stuck footing the bill because you can’t work.” That’s why anyone with an IQ above 70 doesn’t get married…so they can keep the freebie. “You can only get SSI if you’ve worked,” Why should someone who never worked get anything from the taxpayers?

        • Once again I had to cut my response to Kathleen in two because SJI limits how many lines I can write without eliminating the “Post Comment” button. Josh: why is it that some people can write War and Peace in a comment box, while others of us are severely limited? Here’s the rest.

          Jailing the chronically/severely mentally ill is the wrong solution. It is unreasonable to expect jailers to know how to handle them. But they do need to be institutionalized–the loony bin as you call it, and not left on the streets.Veterans should be at the head of the line for help, WAY ahead of the SSI folks, homeless slackers, and everyone else sucking on the taxpayers’ tit. There is not an endless supply of other peoples’ money, despite what the Democrats seem to believe.

          • JMO- I’m with you on the issue of short posts. What’s up with that? I can’t even respond properly to comments directed at me.

            I agree with everything you’ve said in this post. If you want proof that jailers AKA Correctional Officers aren’t mental health specialists, just look at all the controversy going on in our local jails. Three deaths, an Officer beaten half to death, etc.

            The cost to jail the mentally ill is far above the cost of placing them in housing with medical and rehab services. The problem is that many refuse the help, destroy the property, or just leave to live back outside. (They aren’t allowed to keep their pets either, and while that might not be important to some, it is important to them. That is why they refuse to go into shelters.)

            Yes! Veterans must and should be served first. They’ve put their lives on the line for our country, and we owe them housing, benefits, and medical care above everyone else.

            I disagree that DV victims and their children should be left out in the streets, or without care. These children will either become abusers or marry/live with one. I really wished I had the answers but I just don’t.

        • JMO- In many ways you and I agree. My point is how asinine these rules and policies are, and how those who are writing them or implementing them, or thinking this crap up, don’t have a clue what they are doing!

          People on SSI HAVE Worked and paid taxes. They become ill and can’t work. So what do we do? Throw them outside, shoot them in the head, what? New incoming immigrants also get SSI and Medical, something I DO NOT agree with. No, I don’t have a problem with paying back anything if it is owed, but consider the absurdity of that policy JMO. If you are dirt poor, and to be on SSI you have to be, what in the hell will you have at the time of your death to pay it back with?

          Most people live in “sin” because of the rules and policies set forth by our government. That INCLUDES a Fire Fighter’s widow/widower. Why should they have to? There is no free ride. You can believe that if you wish, but nothing in life is free my friend.

          The bottom line is this, the article Jennifer wrote is a fact of life. I don’t care if people hate the way she wrote it or not, or whether they agree with it or not. This article points out many issues that surround the high cost of living, DV, why people stay in bad relationships etc. It is easy to say, “Move somewhere else,” but that is a myopic way to respond to an issue this important. EVERYONE, including TAXPAYERS, are affected by what is going on right now.

  22. > Further, to limit forgiveness of student loans to just teachers is unjust.

    Well, yeah!

    > If you become sick or disabled and your doctor signs a letter to that fact, anyone can get HIS OR HER loan forgiven.

    Oh, great.

    More reasons for people to exploit hypochondria or fake diseases.

    This creates an opportunity for one-stop shopping for the “medicinal marijuana” boutiques:

    “Come on in, have our quack doctor diagnose you with fibromyalgia, and get your pot AND get your student loans forgiven at the same time.”

  23. I’d love to know what some of the ever first commenters (regarding affordable housing), ever present Renter Haters – at this online San Jose Insider site – do, to make ends meet, because I could swear they monitor this site, 24/7 to express their outrage against those who worked as hard, if not far harder, all of their lives (many in occupations which actually value humanity, I might add) , yet still cannot afford to live next door to such merciless unrelenting commenters.

    They can’t all be retired? If not retired, then aren’t they just lying to their customers that they are on the job, and that their hourly rate is a fair rate (and it must be a stunningly high rate of return for doing absolutely nothing, if they can afford to live here and feel quite unthreatened and free to make the inhumane proclamations as to others who actually work for far, far less than what they are worth).

    Interesting too, they appear to be 99.9999999999 percent “SUCCESSFUL Hard Working! [Mercenary, is my take] ”white males, doing fine thank you very much!… as they attack any female requesting fair housing with: outright lies; deliberately insane presumptions such as Bill Cosby smears (I guess the Editors deleted the utterly unassociated off the hook response that sjoutsidethebubble made to me about Bill Cosby in an earlier article post); and, when all else fails, English Grammar Lessons which the perps don’t even follow themselves.

    I do not notice anyone ‘black’ – male or female, no matter how many degrees they have attained – or, anyone of the lighter ‘brown’ skinned doing Silicon Valley: home health care; ‘landscaping’; housecleaning; nannying; etcetera population, …even bothering to (let alone the fact many would be fired if they did) comment here; and I can well imagine why.

    NIMBY [Not in My Back Yard, City or State: go die out of my sight]!; the ever present stunningly few (and disproportionately LOUD) ‘successful white male’ TAXPAYER/CITIZENS! cry, even against those who pay them insane amounts of money to keep a roof over their family’s head; ….But, clearly, … one never ever hears from their female partners (never able to make near the same income they did, without a special male connection …or a stunningly craved after body) despite being every bit as intelligent), who are probably too busy: cleaning after them; gardening; playing nurse to all of their health woes; doing all of the necessary shopping; and who are likely not even aware of the true extent of which their male partners find it necessary to batter others who would just like to be treated with equivalence and humane regard.

    Lastly (for now), yeah, as I made great attempt to imply above, for all those who find it necessary to label themselves – in their ‘online user’ names – as Citizens[!] and TAXPAYERS[!], everyone else who is commenting here is also a Citizen and a TAXPAYER …even, and most Especially, RENTERS, ….you A****Holes.

    Fact of the matter is, Renters pay far more of a percentage of their income on Taxes: on their Income Taxes; in stunningly regressive Sales Taxes, and on the Property Taxes which are absolutely included into their rents.

    Speaking of taxes, none of the perps disparaging the mowed over human beings in Silicon Valley who can no longer afford to move, or stay, have F..k Squat to say about those PublicCorporate Owned DOD Funded Sociopaths: Gates; Ellison; Jobs; Thiel; Musk; Brin; Page; Schmidt; Zuckerberg; Costos; Kalanick; etcetera, etcetera; all of them, … a teeny eeny, eeny, elite class of ‘white fratboys’ hiding trillions of TAX dollars and, ever increasingly attempting: to run all communications of; censor most communications of; make all decisions for; and, thereby own, the world at large.

    Effing PATHETIC. I do hope none of the perps go to a Church proclaiming to abide by the tenets which Martin Luther King believed in, and died for; though I suspect some, if not most, of the perps do.

    • More sexist, racist hate mongering. A shame.

      It’s more than a shame. Diane’s hatred is so thick you could cut it with a knife:

      “…yeah, as I made great attempt to imply above, for all those who find it necessary to label themselves – in their ‘online user’ names – as Citizens[!]™ and TAXPAYERS[!]™, everyone else who is commenting here is also a Citizen and a TAXPAYER …even, and most Especially, RENTERS, ….you A****Holes.

      How can Diane possibly convince those other folks to be sympathetic to her concerns, when she calls them “A**Holes”? Her racist, sexist hatemongering is a turn-off to anyone sincerely interested in finding a reasonable solution to the local escalation in rents.

      Once upon a time there was a radio preacher named ‘Reverend Ike’. He was entertaining to listen to. One of the points he made constantly was: If you hate someone you can never be like them. If you hate the rich, you will never be rich.

      There are forces in this country, mainly the Left, that stoke the tribal/class hatred we see in Diane’s emotional rant. They do it to amass power, which comes at the expense of the people they pretend to support. The hatred generated against others keeps the poor from succeeding. Diane, for example, will never be successful, because she can’t be; she hates those who have succeeded. We see that hatred throughout her comments.

      In the past, millions of immigrants flocked to America asking for nothing more than the freedom to succeed on their own. Rather than hating successful people, they emulated them, and in the process became successful themselves. Examples are everywhere we look.

      But now the Left’s narrative is: Hate successful people! It’s their fault you’re poor!

      Nonsense. The real reasons are simply bad life choices: having children outside of stable marriages, drug and alcohol abuse, and even mundane things like not showing up to work on time. People who make good life choices generally do very well. The others don’t.

      So I refuse to accept their blame. The bad choices made by folks like Diane are not our fault. But we pay through the nose to bail her out, alog with the millions of others who have made bad choices.

      I say, ‘Enough!’ Taxpayers are being bled white, and the only result I can see are more hands being held out. The correllation is obvious: as taxes rise, so do the number of homeless and needy. We are paying people to remain poor — and it’s not working as intended. The more we pay, the more poor people we’re buying.

      So try to figure out a solution that doesn’t always end up by demanding that someone else has to rescue people from their bad decisions. Is that harsh? Yes, it’s ‘tough love’.

      The current ‘solutions’ have failed miserably. So try something new: try to be self sufficient. Because it can be done. There are millions of examples. And they’re not the ones blaming ‘the rich’ for their problems.

      • Smokey- Your post reminds me of a school yard bully who pokes a kid in the ribs, runs a way, and then expresses outrage when his victim hits him in the head with a base ball bat. You and others on here did, and have always made some pretty hate filled, rude, sexist remarks yourselves on SJI. I’ve seen it happen for years now. Your behaviors have driven many off this blog. Then when someone like Diane calls you on it, you get pissed. Well get over it. Fair is fair. Also, I think you need to stop making assumptions about Diane because you don’t know her. Try asking instead of accusing.

        You give this long diatribe on proper etiquette, not being a hater, but don’t practice what you preach. Diane made valid points about taxpayer bail outs for huge companies. I didn’t see you address that.

        • Kathleen Flynn,

          I’ll address what strikes my fancy, thank you. That doesn’t mean I support taxpayer bailouts for businesses; I don’t. But that’s not the discussion, so you’re just deflecting.

          And Diane is not ‘calling me’ on anything. I reject her sexist, racist, hate-filled comments. Yours, too. Where have I expressed any hatred? You just don’t like the reality I’m discussing, so you call it hatred.

          All I’m saying is, I’m paying enough already. Too much, in fact: more than half my earnings go to taxes of one kind or another — but I don’t see any improvement. All I see is a ballooning of the bureaucracy, and more people on the dole.

          My concern has consistently been over the profligate waste of taxpayer resources, which causes the perpetrators to demand higher and higher taxes from the dwindling working class. You know, the makers; the producers of wealth.

          But all I see from folks like Diane is green-eyed jealousy, hatred, blaming others for everything, and a desperate hope that once again, the government will jack up our taxes to give her money that she could earn on her own.

          And you, my dear Kathleen, want someone to hit me over the head with a baseball bat, because I’ve finally said, “Enough!”

          Here’s a suggestion for you and Diane: Make do. On your own. Like millions upon millions of other women do. There is no reason you can’t. And if someone is working at a low paying job, then do what millions of others do all the time: get a skill that pays better. But above all, quit complaining. That’s a dead end.

          Neither one of you has said that you’re disabled, or otherwise unable to work. So get with it! And please, no excuses that ‘Da Man’ is holding you down. That’s nonsense. There is always work for people willing to work. But I suspect Diane is not willing to work, and she would much rather subsist on free taxpayer money.

          Who do you think pays for all that ‘free’ money? Yeah: other people. The money you don’t work for doesn’t grow on trees, it is confiscated from people who work for it. Explain how that’s fair.

          On second thought, don’t bother. It’s not fair for someone capable of working for a living to demand that working folks must share their earnings with others.

          And if you’ll notice, it’s never enough. Is it? Diane’s misery is always someone else’s fault. With an attitude like that, she will never succeed. She will always subsist on what she gets from others. There is no self respect in that.

          There’s an alternative. It’s out there. But some folks would rather complain.

          • Smokey- Believe it or not, I agree with much of what you’ve said! Empty Gun put it perfectly in his last post. A big part of the problem is who we put in office, the red tape, and just plain BS of government. So why aren’t we as a community working together to solve these issues instead of relying on government? I grew up in a small town back East. We helped one another!
            Having said that, the only place I take exception with you and others on here is the constant assumption that anyone, including myself, who cares about the disadvantaged, fights to assist them to become more self sustaining is on the Dole, or somehow eating off the public/government troth, and isn’t paying our fair share of taxes. That is a very offensive, and hurtful accusation given that it isn’t one bit true. The only time I see those kinds of accusations on here is when it is directed at women posters, or public servants. Now, to the topic, rent amounts are broken down to cover a landlord’s property taxes, utilities, water, garbage, etc. Also, we working stiffs see very little of our pay checks after taxes! Believe me, the more you earn the less you take home, that is unless you are wealthy, which neither you or I are. So yes, I feel your pain too. This system sucks, but we as a people AND a community can change it. We just have to stop voting in bad politicians, work together for the betterment of one another, and stop making assumptions that just because someone cares enough to fight for the disadvantaged that they are some kind of loser, or public troth feeder.

          • +1
            Important to note the difference between an argument and a quarrel – a distinction that’s lost on our most prolific wealth redistribution (as long as it’s not theirs) advocates. A wise woman (and one of my best bosses) observed “Never wrestle with a pig. The pig enjoys it and you’ll be covered in .”

            Arguments proceed with new facts, interpretations and ultimate alignment on some aspects; quarrels proceed from refusing to accept any other claims. I like arguments – learn new things and grateful when my views are changed by persuasive ones. But quarrels waste time. Sometimes it’s not immediately clear if someone is arguing or quarreling.

            Diane / Melissa quarrel. Emotional and intellectual basket cases wallowing in self-pity, resentment, and psychotic fantasies. Fruitless to engage.

            Kathleen is more complex, but ultimately in the quarrel category – no point in continuing to engage. In reviewing the exchanges, I’m struck by her absence of facts and alternative solutions to problems acknowledged by opposing sides. Despite her professed mediator expertise, I don’t find her advancing a framework for resolution – only for continuing to quarrel.

            She seems completely unaware how others may perceive her diatribes. They are inimical to employment offers or tenant consideration. Social media presence has become a factor in both.

            Also noteworthy is stereotype bias. Kathleen evidently assumes those that disagree with her lack compassion, direct engagement with, or failure to aid the less fortunate. I spend 3-4 days a month at Elmwood, the main jail, and a homeless shelter. I know that about 86% will resume drinking, 93% will resume drugs, and almost 80% will be re-incarcerated within 5 years. Some eventually stop substance abuse and change their lives, though most don’t. Change is tough. But compassion doesn’t necessitate enablement.

            Interesting that activism and expertise have not been raised. I’d expect that someone as vocal as Kathleen would be a subject matter expert and engaged in betterment efforts – i.e., someone that ‘walks the talk’. Her comments indicate only superficial insight – not what I’d expect from someone claiming to be a passionate advocate. Perhaps she flies under the radar, but sadly there are many more merely proselytizing rather than acting to make a difference.

            Google show a BOS commendation (no specifics) for her. Nothing else beyond the defunct MLK Association and self-described Advocate for Families of Homicide and Victims of Violent Crime. While advocacy is import, actions speak louder than words. Need to wrap up – off to a meeting of budget wonks trying to cut government waste.

  24. Diane- BRAVO! LOL! Well said. I honestly can’t believe how naive people are about what is going on in our world today, nor can I believe the lack of humanity and compassion by many. Unfortunately, we as a society are being pitted against the have and the have nots. The disgustingly wealthy want us to fight among one another, and place blame on the poor, so that we aren’t paying attention to what THEY are doing to ALL of us. Sad part, it is actually working.

    I have worked with some pretty awesome men in my field of Human and Civil Rights. Not many are wealthy, but they have loving, compassionate hearts. I agree, we renters are the backbone of property owners, and contribute more than OUR fair share. Property owners PAY people to fight fair housing rules, and that is why we are on the loosing end most times. Tenants rarely organize and fight back out of fear of eviction. They work long hard hours at crap jobs to put a roof over their families heads. Fighting back is vital, and people are starting to do just that. Look at our Presidential election. The old guard is out.

    In closing let me just say this, the heartless posters on here will have to deal with this kind of situation one day. My hope is that when they do, they don’t get the same treatment that they are giving others on here.

    And finally, the housing crisis here is going to bite EVERYONE in the butt, you just wait and see. These kinds of outrageous living costs are not sustainable. It’s happened before, and it WILL happen again.

    • > Property owners PAY people to fight fair housing rules, and that is why we are on the loosing end most times. Tenants rarely organize and fight back out of fear of eviction. They work long hard hours at crap jobs to put a roof over their families heads. Fighting back is vital, and people are starting to do just that.

      Pure tribal warfare.

      If you really think you like tribal warfare, you should study it sometime.

      What usually happens is that one tribe wins and one tribe loses.

      The winning tribe kills or enslaves the warriors of the losing tribe, takes their women, and burns their village. The losing tribe goes extinct.

      Live by the sword, die by the sword.

      • sjoutsidethebubble – “Pure tribal warfare” yep! If you look around you the masses are fed up and are letting it be known during this Presidential election. I wouldn’t be so sure that the winning tribes of the past will continue to get a way with what they have. There’s this little thing called Karma. She’s a real bitch.

  25. Diane,
    You are so right, we are all hated white males that stay up 24 hours a day monitoring everything you say.
    Furthermore I’m retired and I make millions bilking poor people of color, renting rat infested tenements because rich white people would never pay those prices. I keep all my money in offshore tax free accounts.

    All my employes were kidnapped from Shanghai and held for ransom and put to work in high tec dot coms that get billions no trillions of dollars kicked back to them from pay offs to my reelection campaign from DOD funds.
    I always like to campaign in churches and carry a bible to wave at people to show what a good white man I am even though some people think I might be black. I’m a womaniser and my wife will lie cover up all the crimes we have committed.

    I’ll tell you anything you want to hear just to get your vote, and as Mr Lincoln said it I’ll steal anything but a red hot stove. I’ll take every last nickel you’ve got and your kids and your grand kids too.
    I survive by making things worse for everyone and blaming it on the other party I am pathetic just like you say but come on Diane vote for me just one more time and I’ll make the flowers bloom next spring in front of your free government house, next year after I take office. Do you want a free phone and new car vote for me!

    I’m The American Politician and Incumbent in your area.

    • Well said, nothing to add Gun. By the way, is my camera on? I swear Diane can see me. Oh…wait….how does she know so much about me?

    • Empty Gun- Thank you for making Dian’s points clear through your attempt at sarcastic comedic relief. EVERYTHING you’ve said in your smart ass retort IS happening right now, somewhere in the world to someone.

      Why don’t you owe her the respect of actually addressing the truths she has laid out? You as a TAXPAYER ARE subsidizing the rich a hell of a lot more than the poor! Or were you asleep when this country bailed out big banks, corporations, the auto industry, and others while homeowners lost their shelter, their businesses, and their jobs?

  26. Thanks so much for the note of support Kathleen Flynn. It’s about time one of the San Jose Insider pieces about outrageous housing expenses is not utterly taken over by the same old crew who clearly appear to have nothing but contempt for renters and the exponentially increasing homeless, yet have not a word to say about the handful of Male Valley Billionaires who have been subsidized by a public – a public which receives nothing but increasing poverty and the death of Communities and true Socializing in return – via California Universities and DOD Grants/Investments; outrageous Federal, State, and Local Tax Subsidies; legalized tax loopholes which keep trillions of dollars out of the Federal, State, and Local public coffers they should be in; and the inhumane monetization, surveillance, and even censorship of the public’s personal information and commentary.

    • DIANE- You are very welcome. The unfortunate thing about the internet is that people can and do use fake names and say things online that they’d never say to your face and definitely never say in a crowd. I have come to a point that I really don’t care about their ignorant comments and barbs, and choose to reply only to those who seem to be trying to have a respectful conversation on a given topic.

      Some of the men on here spend more time trying to top dog one another than have fruitful conversations. Others do have some good points worth considering and mulling over. Having said that, I work in the community in a variety of areas which allows me to see the truth with my own eyes. They can make ignorant comments, attach links to support their positions, but they don’t compare with the truth or realities of what I am seeing out here in our community.

      Many of these posters are far removed from these issues. They don’t volunteer with DV shelters, or work with the homeless, and seem to believe everything they read, or can Google to support their concept of reality. Very few want to be awoken from their slumber. On the other hand, many are tired of giving to causes that turn out to be corrupt, volunteering their time to useless advisory committees, and working with lying politicians who promise the change we need to see in the world, and then blowing them off the minute they get elected.

      You and I know that the women and men in this article are real, and that their struggles are familiar to many. In the end, isn’t that all that really matters?

  27. Diane,
    Although unsupportive of your hissy-fit and utterly ignorant, emotional declarations, let’s not overlook the contributions of these influential and wealthy women: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-coolest-women-in-silicon-valley-2015-6

    Theranos (Elizabeth Holmes) has taken a hit since the 2015 article was published. NPR recently reported that all of their blood tests have been recalled and the Walgreens deal terminated. She may end up in Club Fed as it appears Theranos technology never worked. And Marrissa Meyer’s days are numbered at Yahoo, but she will depart with a $37 million golden parachute once Yahoo is sold.

    Baffling why Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg is omitted. Zuckerberg gets media recognition, but insiders know she’s primarily responsible for FB’s incredible success.

    • TAXPAYER- “Although unsupportive of your hissy-fit and utterly ignorant, emotional declarations…” Ooops! I think you might just want to rephrase that. When men voice their opinions in a passionate manner, they are not seen as bitching, throwing hissy- fits, ignorant, or making emotional declarations. Why is that? Hum….

      For a man who likes the facts, balanced information, and verifiable stats, you are not paying attention in class when you are getting what you’ve asked for. You are focused on the delivery of the message instead of the truth/s contained therein.

      Like it or not, Diane is making some very valid points about how you are being screwed over by big business, and how more of YOUR TAXPAYER money is going to subsidize THEM, and not the homeless, Welfare recipients, or DV victims.

      You and your fellow posters have dismissed her verifiable point that renters are paying property taxes through their rental payments. The list of points she has made are being dismissed because you don’t like her delivery? Just like you don’t like Jennifer’s delivery of verifiable facts.

      What a shame I must say because her verifiable points are really worth discussing.

  28. Ms. Flynn, for someone who does not like people making assumptions about who and what you are, your posts are full of assumptions. Regarding rentals, regarding the usefulness of programs, regarding rental property owners, and regarding what is really going on in this article you make many assumptions.

    The reality is most ARO property owners are local, mom and pop operators (88% live in Bay Area), that keep their property reasonably maintained (0% Tier IV Code violators) and charge existing tenants fair rent ($1445 median rent across every unit size in 2015). The facts are outlined in the ARO Prelim report. If you went to any of the ARO public meetings, you would have seen that most of the rental property owners who spoke were women and/or immigrants. An ARO unit is a solid, quality deal given the cost of housing in the Bay Area, offered by people who care about the well being of their tenants and the community through the housing of 140,000 people.

    The reality is rental property owners do engage in Section 8, VASH, and other subsidized programs. Rental property owners honor 17,546 vouchers in Santa Clara County. The waitlist is over 60,000 and closed, so some others think they also work. Speaking from experience, it is not the inspection that is the problem with HUD, it is the fact that one is dealing with a massive and byzantine bureaucracy that has a serious problems dealing with the real life problems of their voucher holders or paying on time. Most voucher holders pay on time, HUD not so much.

    The reality is that rent control and other government regulations hurt people like Ms. Mathews. Rent Control will lead to more expensive housing and greater levels of displacement, just look at SF. Even Fair Housing hurts Ms. Mathews and others like her. Given a rental property owner must only screen Ms. Mathews on her ability to pay, i.e. income and credit, giving her a unit will set up a rental property owner for a discrimination violation from Fair Housing down the road. The article implies that Ms. Mathews had no income and bad credit, which I would assume is accurate for many like her. It is in fact illegal to look at Ms. Mathews as a human being in a desperate situation; one can only assess her on objective criteria. Ms. Mathew’s situation is evidence of the unintended consequences that are laughed away at in conversations such as this. Just wait and see what $15 minimum wage is going to do to her and her kids.

    The reality is, as you point out, DV is a complicated problem, one that even frustrates those that care and support the abused the most. We all feel angry and hopeless when we read these stories and as human beings want to make someone pay a price for it. This article serves up a scapegoat, the rental property owner, not the true perpetrator, the abuser. DV is a terrible problem, but it is not caused by rental property owners and will not be solved by punishing rental property owners.

    The reality is articles like this, and Ms. Wadsworth has written a few, along with some unverifiable testimonies made at ARO public meetings are designed to tap into people’s emotion instead of their logic. By blinding people, such as Diane, with so much racist hate and lust for revenge, the very real unintended consequences of the inevitable regulations, policy changes, and ordinances that are applied to assuage that anger are laughed at, characterized as White Male problems, and ignored. It is not a secret that Berkeley School of Public Policy, SJ Housing Dept, Tenants Together, et al want to dismantle property rights in the Bay Area. First with strict rent control across the Bay Area region, then rescind Costa-Hawkins and Ellis Act, and ultimately reinstate vacancy control. History and experience has shown that if they are successful, it will lead to vast suffering of the class of people they insist they are protecting. Ms. Wadsworth does her part by tearing at your emotions and enabling you to ignore the reality of the outcomes of this strategy.

    The reality is this article is political, not a personal interest story, and deserves to be treated as the propaganda it is.

  29. SJ Citizen- SJI isn’t allowing me to respond past a few paragraphs, so please bare with me. We can agree to disagree on much of what you’ve said.I am not assuming ANYTHING! I work in these fields and know first hand what is going on. Very few owners are accepting Section 8 or vouchers. Go to Craig’s List, Rent.com, and Go Section8.com. Read and learn for yourself. Please show me any rentals ads that accept Section 8 or vouchers, so that I can pass them on to people needing housing. Thanks! I have found NONE. I agree, the Housing Authority is slow paying for new owners, I disagree that owners don’t want the inspections. Google tenant reviews of these rentals. Rats, roaches, lack of repairs. Code enforcement is understaffed, hence the reason they get a way with this. Fear of eviction keeps most renters from complaining. Watch the news regarding a San Jose rental property that is getting a way with running a crap hole, and the City’s slow response. Please don’t deny these crap holes exist, or that some landlords get a way with running dumps.

    I agree that people chose to stay in bad relationships but disagree that the cost of living, and rents are not a part of the reason they stay. This story is filled with a lot of truth. I got my neighbor into a shelter after her boyfriend molested their 18 month old. She stayed in shelters for 2 years, got kicked out, went back to the abuser, had two more kids with him. Money was a big part of why she stayed and went back. Try supporting a kid on Welfare, then talk to me.

    My post is getting cut of so, let me end with this. Greed isn’t color blind my friend. In fairness to Diane, look at some of the cold hearted, nasty comments made on here. Is it any wonder she feels the way she does? I’ve come to know most of you after many years and can understand where you are coming from. She is a new comer. Give her a break.

  30. Wow, Meritocratic Man Jose has spoken! jeesh (waves to Kathleen, and Jennifer Wadsworth, sends huge air hugs to both!).

    Don’t have time momentarily to say much more except that pretty much everything the regular Man crew has assumed about me is 100% incorrect, just for one thing, haven’t voted Democrat since 2008, and then it was only a lesser evil vote, which I won’t ever do again, and I’ve never – and won’t ever – voted Republican or Libertarian. For another, I actually have a Professional License which I worked quite hard for, on my own, I was early prematurely retired because I actually did the right thing in an utterly corrupt industry (which has caused horrid outcomes for the world at large), and became quite sick while unemployed and helping take care of both a mother and brother.

    Lastly, how my comments – which have repeatedly used adjectives such as a teeny weeny handful, and similar, regarding white males, have repeatedly been twisted as scorn for all white males-is truly masterful propagandizing, ….. and WHINING. Calling my comments gender hatred and racist while utterly letting slide the actual slurs and utter absence of empathy in so very many of the same old crew’s comments at this site is something to behold, maybe ya’ll ought to run political campaigns, maybe some of you do.

  31. Ms Flynn, Thank you for your reply. Just because a unit is not advertised as taking Section 8 does not mean a rental property owner will not accept them. Per Santa Clara HUD, 17,546 are in use, so some one is honoring them, we do.

    While you have not stated your exact profession, which is fine by me, you do cite personal experience in your position. I take your statements as true, explicitly. But your evidence is anecdotal and given you are probable working with only the tough cases, understandably biased. Millions of people rent in the bay area and go about their business everyday. Rents are high, but owning is way more expensive. Units are old, but building new ones are nearly impossible. Some have feces, rats, and roaches and get the evening news treatment they deserve. Perhaps more should, I can agree to that, but it is not legal to collect rent on an uninhabitable unit.

    Even if one was to concede that high rents are the cause of all toxic relationships, it is still not the fault of mom and pop owners that rents are high. It is a series of poor decisions in land use, water rights, public union pension agreements, corporate tax incentives, and redevelopment policies over the past 4 decades that are to blame. Ms Wadsworth’s friends admit as much in moments of honesty. But the remedies being thrown about are clearly punitive, under the moral justification that these owners are just shameless, greedy, white, racist males. If you don’t believe me, go watch the city council video from the spring of last year. And they are being directed at mom and pops, because the corporate owners can afford non-ARO units.

    And why should anyone give racist and sexist rantings a break? If it was a white male spewing such hate, would you be more understanding, would you give him a break?

    • SJ Citizen- As I said, I can’t write a long post, don’t know why some of you can, and some of us can’t, but I’m doing my best to answer you. GoSection8.com is supposed to list all available rental properties. Check for yourself, almost empty. Please assist me by giving me the names of the properties you work/run for that allow Section 8, vouchers, and Veteran’s vouchers so that I many pass them on to my colleagues and clients. Thank you. “Per Santa Clara HUD, 17,546 are in use, so some one is honoring them, we do.” These figures are incorrect. Many have and are loosing their housing vouchers because the tenants can NOT find landlords taking their vouchers at the moment.

      I guess you haven’t been reading my posts very carefully, but I have repeatedly stated the kind of work I do and have done. I am a mediator/arbitrator, and I work in all areas of Civil and Human Rights. I was a Tenant Landlord/Mediator and Arbitrator for the Housing Service Center, a mediator/trainer/instructor, and an interim supervisor for the Victim Offender and Small Claims Dispute Resolution Program at the County for 12 years. What is your profession by the way? Biased? I think we as human beings all carry bias, don’t you? For example, your defense of landlords, rents, and stating that your properties take Section 8 and vouchers seems to make you biased in your viewpoints as well. It is my honest opinion that there is enough blame to go around for the problems we are all facing. I find finger pointing and the blame game a waste of time and energy, and not very productive. Probably why I decided to become a certified mediator/arbitrator instead of an attorney. I think we all need to work together for the better good of ALL. As to Diane’s comments. I think she like all of you are entitled to your/her opinion. And yes, I often ignore the ignorant remarks on here. I liked to stay focused on the issue at hand. Half the time the posters turn everything into a smart ass remark, or are attention seekers who offer nothing of value. Please feel free to call me Kathleen.

      • Kathleen, I am biased as is anyone else. My experience drives my bias and has shown me that people live their lives the best they can. They look out for their kids and family and would do anything for them. That is my bias and the bias I expect from everyone else I meet.

        My bias is that is if you treat your customers with disrespect they will walk even if they pay more to your competition. My bias is most interactions are better served peer to peer and that works most of the time, but there is a need, at times, for a third party to arbitrate. Non-profits, church-based programs should be the first line of mediation/support, with larger government social programs to address the rest.

        When every interaction is arbitrated by the government, such as SF rent board or what SJ HD wants, it leads to massive inefficiency, extremely stressful and continuous conflict, unintended consequences, much higher rents, and more displacement.

        • SJ Citizen- One of the reasons I so love mediation is because I get to work with two parties who want a resolution, but start off unable to find one because they are so hurt, angry, and feel unheard. My job is to make everyone heard and understood, but not necessarily to agree. I help them find common ground to start from. Human beings who really want to resolve something just take my breath away. They come up with ways to resolve something that even I, with an IQ of 168, couldn’t have!

          The truth for me about all of this is that we have to STOP relying on government, and work together as a community. We have to stop denying that problems like this article points out do truly exist, and find a way to help families going through this. Profit has to stop taking precedence over humanity, and society needs to get its compassion back. I support small business, even though it costs me more, because I get to see that my money helps their families and employees make an honest living. I get to see their kids grow up, their grand kids born, hear about their successes and their stiff. Like an extended family of sorts.

          Rent control was born to curb greed. Boards have been formed to give the less powerful a fighting chance. I have resided over many a tenant landlord mediation and arbitration. I can tell you that there are some really rotten tenants and landlords out there, but then there are those who are incredible to work with.

  32. To him, who knows who he is (does that singular grammar pass your muster sjoutsidethebubble?), who stated:

    And why should anyone give racist and sexist rantings a break?

    So then, why do you, repeatedly, over and over again?

    • New Jim Crow, old Jim Crow, and redlining is more evidence racially motivated government regulation hurts everyone, as I point, out racism does not work. People’s race should not be used to scapegoat more complex problems, then or now. Fair Housing is tricky to implement, as pointed out on this board. Also EPA rent control, Prop 13, CEQA and other NIMBY style development restrictions didn’t help much as have been pointed out by others. How is this inconsistent with anything stated by posters on this board?

  33. Even if there was universal agreement that the taxpaying citizens of San Jose owe it to wannabe San Joseans to subsidize them as much as and as long as it takes to shoehorn them in here, there’s still a huge problem. The City of San Jose has consistently demonstrated a spectacular inability to effectively manage the relatively simple tasks of running a library system, maintaining infrastructure, or even keeping the weeds cut and the trash picked up. If our local government can’t even perform these basic duties, what gives anyone the idea that it should take on the complex and daunting task of fairly and equitably managing a housing subsidy program?
    Your hearts may be in the right place, Kathleen and Diane, but all the good will in the world is not going to magically transform a bloated, ineffective, self serving bureaucracy into an organization that can be trusted to wisely spend the taxpayers’ hard earned dollars.

    • John Galt- I would agree that government and many non profits can’t be trusted with tax payer money. They have proven how inept they are, time after time, and again.

      I guess my parents are to blame for my soft heat and sense of civic duty. My Father was a Veteran of 3 wars, and my Mother was born and raised in Germany. She escaped Nazi Germany after being buried alive during a bombing. Both of my parents raised us to fight for what we believe in, to take care of others, and to question authority. I guess you can’t teach this old dog new tricks.

      Take care of yourself my friend~

      • Loyalty is a quality I greatly admire and there’s no way I’d ever question your motivation.
        Kathleen, you and I are both pretty set in our thinking and (at our advanced age!) I doubt either of us is going to change. You’re not trying to change me and vise versa.
        Kathleen, you often say “we’ll have to agree to disagree” That’s probably the perfect sentiment because it leaves the door open for further discussion. Even if we know for a fact that we’ll always disagree, it’s still important that we don’t stop communicating. Respect.
        Thanks, Kathleen.

        • John Galt – I feel the same respect for you John. Believe it or not, you have actually changed my mind on a few issues over the years, and who wouldn’t love a fellow animal lover! LOL! Be well and be safe. I look forward to our next discussion.

  34. The long version (which I initially tried to post, three tries ago, …oh, …why not give it one last oomph), of my above comment:

    To him, who knows who he is (does that singular grammar pass your muster sjoutsidethebubble?) :

    And why should anyone give racist and sexist rantings a break?

    So then, why do you, repeatedly, over and over again?

    For just one example, sjoutsidethebubble appears to be every bit the Silicon Valley/Mississippi/Alabama, etcetera born and raised successful Confederate, with his stunningly outrageous coded language about ‘black males’ and those – also deliberately pushed into poverty – by those who own the world’s wealth – single females.

    Try this on, for size (regarding decades upon decades of California, and specifically, Silicon Valley RACISM), you WHINER about RACISTS who aren’t RACISTS, while you allow, for just one: sjoutsidethebubble, to endlessly, glaringly, faux subtly ……get away with the age old, sordid, and nasty innuendo that poor and single white women just love black men’s d’s, and that’s why they are poor.. :

    01/10/15 East Of Palo Alto’s Eden: Race And The Formation Of Silicon Valley

    My Dad, brothers and Landlord, to name just some white males I stand behind, were/are white, and wonderful human beings; I’ve specifically noted my love for them, and specifically used the teeny, etcetera word, you’ve repeatedly and utterly disregarded my commentary as to such. Come to think of it, you seem to keep your reality utterly unspoken to, while – quite disingenuously- picking at everything I note.

    Do tell us all more about yourself, SJCitizen, I am also a life long US citizen and taxpayer, always have been.

    Oh, and re Man Jose, and single females bewilderingly unable to survive there, there are stats all over the map about the odd predominance of single males over females in Silicon Valley, despite there being more females than males on a national average. Here’s one, noting Silicon Valley being number one in that telling statistic: http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/solocities_gap1.aspx.

  35. Own up, John Galt, that you are using a fake name. You are using the name of the despicable ‘protagonist’ of the book Atlas Shrugged (forced on public students all over California, as if it is a life to aspire to), written by a wealthy Russian woman, gladly visa’d into the US, who proclaimed that there should be no publicly funded economic safety net, despite the fact that she used it to stay alive in her end days, despite not being born here, though more than gladly given a visa to lector the poverty ridden here.

    It never ceases to amaze me that Women born in the US, have never, ever….. been as admired publically as Ayn Rand, who is highly known to be entrenched in Sado Masochism, until of course, she got older, and needed medical care.

    • OK Diane. I’ll admit that my real name is not John Galt. Ya got me.
      On a side note, I find it peculiar that when I first read your comment earlier today you had spelled the word “publically”. Now I see the spelling error has been magically corrected. Now it’s “publicly”. Very Orwellian. Thanks to the editors of SJI the Truth of Diane’s comment have been flushed down the memory hole- it’s a subtle difference I know. But I have to wonder about the motivation of today’s journalists when they are routinely so careless about relaying accurate information to the public.

    • Diane, John Galt is really his name. He has been on this blog for over a decade now. While he and I have not agreed on everything, he has been respectful to me and others on here. I think very highly of him, and I think if you gave him a chance, you just might too.

  36. you are momentarily lucky that my comment about what the name John Galt actually represents, got snagged up in “spam.”

    further, what do you know about non monetary mercy, love and kindness (code word, in the US = heart) , especially since you are not even using your first name, let alone your last name. You’re far more soul less than sjinsidethebubble, et al, lackey’s bar none.

  37. welp, don’t push it bubble man, it was a well deserved bar,… and I’ve not witnessed you directing anything the least bit kind toward anyone who is struggling to keep a roof over over their head’s way, so you’re the last person who should be whining (or do you prefer the whingeing word?) about low bars.

    and, Master Galt, what are you whining about (do you prefer the whingeing word?), as my misspell is clearly still there, so sorry for that mispell, I have cancer medication fog. Can I ask, John, If someone misspelled the word murder, does that negate the fact that they were referring to a murder?

    • Lighten up. It’s not always about you. My comment was not directed at your spelling but rather at journalistic integrity. But you’re right. I was mistaken. Upon careful rereading I see that there was no editing after all. (Sorry Josh)
      My best wishes to you in your fight Diane.

  38. Oh, and speaking of grammatical errors, let me just correct this to the past tense. as Ayn Rand is no longer among us to batter the poverty ridden in a country she wasn’t born in, whose safety net for the poverty ridden she made made more than full use of:

    … a wealthy Russian woman, gladly visa’d into the US, who proclaimed that there should be no publicly funded economic safety net, despite the fact that she used it to stay alive in her end days, despite not being born here, though more than gladly given a visa to lector the poverty ridden here.

    It never ceases to amaze me that Women born in the US, have never, ever….. been as admired publically as Ayn Rand, who was highly known to be entrenched in Sado Masochism, until of course, she got older, and needed medical care.

  39. My comment was not directed at your spelling but rather at journalistic integrity.

    I don’t believe that, and I’ll bet you don’t either. I will bet my life that if someone you agreed with had misspelled a word, you wouldn’t have commented at all.

    Further, you and your crew are the ones who talk like it’s all about yourselves, I’ve not read one word of empathy towards those homeless or nearing homelessness from any of you and your crew, in this post, or any prior posts about housing.

    Lastly, real cute lectoring me on lightening up when it is impossible while surrounded by the likes of yourselves hammering others for being failures at not being able to pay impossible rents, and then weirdly offering well wishes.

    Keep your fake well wishes to yourself, my Cancer is benevolent (everyone dies at some point) compared to the brutal and deadly lack of empathy you and your crew silently spit out, like there is no tomorrow.

  40. Empty Gun- Very well said. Thank you for your thoughtful response. I agree, but I don’t vote for the old guard. Like you, I’m sick and tired of all the BS. TAXPAYER pointed to some excellent short term reliefs for the housing crunch, but he also pointed out the roadblocks he met with when presenting them. I swear, it is like being in a maze filled with idiots. No matter how I try, like TAXPAYER, I just keep hitting a brick wall.

    A revolution is on the way my friend. When you take people’s shelter a way, you have a fight on your hands.

    • A revolution, yes … I can see it, mid summer heat, drought dry and Salinas dusty…

      !Viva la revolución!
      !Viva la revolución!
      !Viva la revolución!

      [Kathleen comes to the mic, the chants die down]

      For too long have tenants toiled at the savages of capitalism, having to settle for free education, internet enabled libraries, Obamacare, subsidized rent, free food, all while having to tolerate proximity to single greatest fountain of wealth the world has every known.

      We demand equality, all they offer is opportunity!

      We tenants disdain to conceal our views and aims. We openly declare that our ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing unsympathic conditions. Let the landlords and predatory lenders tremble at a tenant revolution!

      Renters of the World, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your off street parking! (…and your hot water, heating, maybe your AC)

      …and have only empathy to win.

      [Loud cheers ensue, chants resurface]

      !Viva la revolución!
      !Viva la revolución!
      !Viva la revolución!

      Sign me up!

      • SJ Citizen- LOL! LOL! I like it! Consider yourself signed up! You really are very talented, and very funny. I think you missed your calling! You’d be a great comedian or a screen writer. Thanks for the belly laugh. I needed that today. See you on the front lines as we take America into the new frontier!

        • Yeah, I was talking to friend the other day who was out in the new frontier, said it was great for a while but they are always short on toilet paper and the lines are really long. Like Disney on Easter Week long, but for everything, you know?

          He came back last year. He’s working at Google now.

      • SJC,
        Power comes from the barrel of a gun, Mao?
        Maybe we need a vote and or an article 5 convention before we kill 30 million people.

    • Kathleen,
      Not voting for “The Old Guard”. Keep voting for the same people you get the same results.
      Some call that insanity, I call it “Stuck On Stupid”, you can’t help yourself, you only want pity and a hand out.

      I’ve told you it too expensive for me to live here, I’m getting out, there is no downsizing here to be more economical.
      I’m not going to be homeless, I am not going to be stuck on stupid. The next people that live in this house have to be millionaires just to pay the taxes and mortgage. You can move almost anywhere and find a better deal, I read your article, so what are you waiting for?

      • Empty Gun- I hear you. Voting for the same old expecting a different outcome IS insanity. As to moving, I’m blessed enough to have a good landlord. His rents are fair. I’ve been here 17 years, and he and I get along very well. He’s a great guy. I feel blessed to have a decent roof over my head, great neighbors, and a fair rent.

        I am saving to get the hell out of here myself in 2 years.

  41. TAXPAYER- “Never wrestle with a pig. The pig enjoys it and you’ll be covered in.” Did it ever occur to you that may be your female boss made that statement to you in the hopes that you’d get how anal and dismissive of others you are during a discussion?

    For a man who likes to deal in facts, the assumptions you’ve made about me and others you’ve cited in your post seem to be based only on posts made by women on here. I don’t see you calling out any male related posts, but let’s not quibble about the facts, shall we.

    It is a shame that you don’t have the integrity or courage to post your real name on your posts so that we can Google you. It would be rather interesting to see whether or not you practice what you preach.

  42. Fricking priceless, today (see above), someone who label’s themselves TAXPAYER (as if none of the rest of us have been life long taxpayers) and doesn’t even use a first name, let alone a last name, is doing his ‘homework’ searching for dirt (don’t you have a profession or job you’re getting paid for TAXPAYER?…hmmm who even knows, maybe this punching down is your paid job?), dirt – which he did not find, but that doesn’t stop him from slandering her anyway – on the one person commenting on this thread who gives far more benefit of the doubt than anyone, and who uses her full name, unlike all, if not most, of the Renter Haters.

    Despicable.

    • Diane,
      After your car’s tires have been slashed, windows broken, paint keyed, and egged, or your house torched you,
      your aloud to change your handle. How come you didn’t ask Frank Mockery that?

  43. Diane- Thank you, but I don’t sweat the small stuff. Anyone who Googles me, or asks the Mayor, the Police Chief, City Council, or most Board of Supervisors, both local animal shelters, or many non profits know I “walk my talk.” Any way, I like his advice! We don’t need to wrestle with pigs. He sees things his way and we see them our way.

    As the beloved Coretta Scott King once said, “I’m fulfilled in what I do. I never thought that a lot of money or fine clothes – the finer things of life – would make you happy. My concept of happiness is to be filled in a spiritual sense”.

    Later Sista! Hugs!

    • From Kathleen’s link:

      The measure involves a tax increase to pay back the bonds…

      As usual.

      And who will get most of that $3 billion in taxpayer loot?

      Developers. As usual.

      But it sure looks good, doen’t it? Like lipstick on a pig — and it will do about as much good.

      At least this hard-bitten taxpayer will get the pleasure of voting NO.

      • This is why Wall Street LOVES Democrats.

        Wall Street bond underwriters make huge commissions on bond sales. And when the bonds mature, the “roll over” the bonds by issuing new bonds. MORE COMMISSIONS!

        So, what did Hillary say in her $250,000 speech to Goldman Sachs. the transcripts of which we are not allowed to see?

        Hillary said: “THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!”

  44. Diane,
    After your car’s tires have been slashed, windows broken, paint keyed, and egged, or your house torched you,
    your aloud to change your handle. How come you didn’t ask Frank Mockery that?

    First, how in the world does that justify him in tracking down someone who doesn’t use an anonymous name?

    Second, If horrid things happening to me should be a reason to use a mocking avatar, not show concern for, and denigrate everyone (particularly women) but myself and those I support, I wouldn’t be using my first name. The list of horrid things is way too long, but here’s an example for you, since the general topic here is renters:

    The first evening I moved into an apartment, some good old boys, Homeowners[!] from three doors down – whom I had never even met, but had apparently been using the space in front of the house where I rented a first floor apartment – used a huge cement urn to shatter the drivers side window on my car, in the middle of winter. Glass and snow all over my car seats, not paid for the day off work it stuck me with. Utterly traumatized, as I had moved there in an emergency escape from my prior apartment which had become utterly physically unliveable (too long of a story to add here). I was quite young at the time, making it on my own, not the bum slacker ya’ll have unrelentingly tagged me as.

    The landlord by the way, was also a real good old boy creep. Among his many horrid actions were: using a key to walk in on the woman who had just moved in upstairs as she was getting dressed. Not even a fricken knock on the door; and near exploding the building (the utility company came out, stated: good thing no one lit a match, and fined him) by using illegal copper tubing for the gas lines.

    Sorry if I interfered with any Good Old Boy Mythology about GOOD HOMEOWNER/LANDLORD!, LowLifeWantEverythingForNothingRenterScum! . Carry on though, the bulk of the commenters on here give me a visceral nausea, and utter sense of despair, so I’ll be taking my leave for the time being.

    • Diane,
      You seem very proud that you don’t use an anonymous name. Good for you. You Go Girl!!.
      That’s very courageous of you. You deserve a medal.
      Now that I know your name is “Diane” I’m sure I’ll be able to Google you and discover everything about you. I can come and break your windows, slash your tires, steal your identity and throw eggs at you as if you were a Donald Trump supporter.
      What a symbol of freedom you are Diane. The Democrat Party must be very proud of you!

  45. > While unemployment slid from 5 percent to 4.7 percent, the lowest since November 2007, the rate fell for a troubling reason: Nearly a half-million jobless Americans stopped looking for work and so were no longer counted as unemployed.

    > Employers added just 38,000 jobs in May, the fewest in over five years.

    The government’s unemployment statistics are completely absurd and unbelievable.

    The economy needs 200,000 or so NEW jobs every month just to keep up with population growth. With only 38,000 new jobs, the unemployment rate should have INCREASED!!

    Someone is lying.

    California has the highest poverty rate of any state. And that’s WITH Silicon Valley which is a job creating engine.

    Without Silicon Valley, the poverty rate in California would be REALLY awful.

    Things are bad, folks.

  46. Diane,
    You seem very proud that you don’t use an anonymous name. Good for you. You Go Girl!!.
    That’s very courageous of you. You deserve a medal.
    Now that I know your name is “Diane” I’m sure I’ll be able to Google you and discover everything about you. I can come and break your windows, slash your tires, steal your identity and throw eggs at you as if you were a Donald Trump supporter.
    What a symbol of freedom you are Diane. The Democrat Party must be very proud of you!

    ahhh well, I knew there was a valid reason why you turn my stomach far more than even Bubble Man, perhaps even more than that good old boy, Master of Eugenic’s Suggestions, frustrated [we should sterilize those stunningly young b….’s, though not their well to do SLY CON VALLEY, LANDOWNER! FAR OLDER MALE ‘customers’] finfan….(though that is questionable), John Galt. it’s your highly calculated omissions and faux obsequiousness (the true mark of a ——-), further, I’ll bet my life that you could give a rat’s a—about TAXPAYER, or Empty Gun (and, I’ll lay odds that they feel that about that you, well, at least Empty Gun).

    If you were honest (and not relying on the fact that folks reading your comment may well take you for your false ‘word,’ simply because they couldn’t possibly have the time to dissect the above comment cesspool of attacks on those suffering as a consequence of utterly unaffordable housing) about my comments as regards anonymous names, you would note that the only issue I have with them is:

    1. those using anonymous names should not be searching for dirt and slandering those attempting to keep peace, particularly those clearly of less financial resources/economic power than them (i.e. Renter vs. Property Owner).

    2. Those anonymous names they use, such as Citizen and TAXPAYER, while solely denigrating other Citizens and Taxpayers, clearly of less financial resources/economic power than them (i.e. Renter vs. Property Owner) and subtly implying those Renters are not Citizens and TAXPAYERS.

    3. Those coded anonymous names, such as John Galt (see my comments above), my apologies if that is truly your name (it fits if it is, just like [Ayn] Rand Paul’s name) which the user is well aware many readers don’t understand the coding of.

    I’m fully aware of the somewhat anonymity of using my first name, of course that only stands true when I don’t reveal too much of my life on a local website where I’ve worked in the area of for decades. I’d never use my last name among the likes of you and your ilk, who clearly have far more economic means than I do and clearly have no compunctions against causing harm, just like TAXPAYER clearly intended above.

    As to the Democratic Party and myself, what in the world are you talking about, faking not having read my above comment? as to the last time I voted Democrat? I’ve been registered as an Independent since I registered decades ago. While true, I never have, and never will, vote Republican, and certainly Never Ever Libertarian, you are ——–.

    Lastly, the coded, sly, intended as racial and gender slur in You Go Girl!, is obvious to anyone with a functioning heart and mind who read your post, CREEP.

    • “Coded Name” M.T. Gunn what more than my opinion do you need to know about me D.I. Anne and why?

    • Diane,

      You really do need a hug. Not just an “air hug”, but one of those caring, feeling hugs that people give to one another when they truly feel like someone is in pain. You have so much hatred in you.

      By the way, there is NO sarcasm in this post at all. Truly.

  47. Whoop Dee Diane. So you’re a “registered Independent”.
    Oh. I’m impressed. Never has there been a human being so thoughtful and independent.
    I say again Diane. “YOU GO GIRL!!!” Your official view is extremely valuable as far as the local Democrat Party is concerned. Don’t be shy about letting them exploit you and your naïve opinion.
    And on a sincere, completely non-sarcastic note- honestly- Good luck in your battle with cancer. Focus on that my dear.

  48. You can’t have it both ways John Galt. WHEN YOU AID AND ABET YOUR BULLY GANG – usually quite subtly, I might add, by your omissions (as in not calling out the repeated race, class (renters), and gender slurs, and the grammar/spelling niggling, ya’ll are so predictable for), versus much of your quite ‘measured’ commentary – in unrelentingly and repeatedly slurring females, and even TAXPAYER [Bar None!]™ investigating a female commenter who has been more than kind to him and all commenters above, and uses her full name, unlike him; YOU DON’T GET TO ALSO ACT LIKE YOU ARE THE LEAST BIT CONCERNED FOR ANYONE’S WELL BEING BUT YOUR OWN, AND NOT BE CALLED OUT ON IT. SO, ONCE AGAIN, KEEP YOUR FAKE CANCER WELL WISHES TO YOURSELF.

    Living in the vicinity of horrid self centered people such as you and your gang who suggest that people living here for decades (and younger adults who grew up here, whose parents have houses and apartments here) just get out of y’alls way is far worse than my cancer. That’s what you’re generally suggesting to those of us commenting, with utterly no bother to even note how brutal (especially when single)– financially, physically and emotionally – moving actually is. I bet that all you blowhards are old enough to be aware of the ranking of MOVING as to being a number one factor in stress overload, particularly after one has contributed to an areas GDP, all their adult lives with far harder work than any of the connivers who ended up Real Estate[!] Millionaires and Subsidized Tech Billionaires), with nothing left but being tossed under a bus, especially when one is older.,

    Lastly, John Galt, YOU ALSO DON’T GET TO PROCLAIM WHAT MY POLITICS ARE WHEN I HAVE NOT EVEN EXPRESSED THEM – WHICH YOU AND OTHERS HAVE REPEATEDLY DONE – AND THEN TURN AROUND AND CLAIM I THINK I’M SPECIAL WHEN I CLARIFY MY POLITICS, WITHOUT BEING CALLED ON IT; ESPECIALLY WHEN I NEVER BROUGHT THEM UP IN THE FIRST PLACE, NOR PROCLAIMED ANYONE ELSE’S.

    —–
    Hugs to you Melissa (I had thought you had left after that deluge of ugliness you and Humane Being work in progress were subjected to, along with the author, Jennifer Wadsworth, and Kathleen Flynn), but I saw your comment of yesterday and just wanted to send out a big hug.

    • Kathleen,
      This scheme might catch a few newbie millionaires in Hollywood anyone dealing with large amounts of income is going to put their hard earned money in a trust or some other vestal and only draw out what they need to live on.
      See Mark Zuckerberg, the Clintoons, Warren Buffet taxes as an example, not that an extra 1% matters to these people it just the point!

  49. wow, some of these comments are senselessly mean. I read the article, thought it was pretty damn interesting (considering I’ve heard several people stuck in the same SV rent limbo), then went to the comments. Wtf? Are you guys serious? These are YouTube level comments, pure useless vitriol, aka: sh*tposts.

    Great article, Ms. Wadsworth. Good insight on actual real local matters. Love that you called the sex-for-rent people, always wondered if those ads were really real. Yup, they are. I look forward to your next article.

    -JN

    • Hey John, some of the comments are mean, but not from the people you are referring to. What is wrong with trying to supply an obvious solution to a problem? If someone is so bound and determined to live in the highest cost City in California, with no means to pay their own way, when did it become my responsibility to pay for it? Thats all most of the questions condense to.
      If California is where they want to live, there are MANY cities, and huge tracts of land to choose from. Why here?

  50. Ignorant NIMBY attitude:

    I applaud the City for facing this issue head on. There is a new wave of homeless that are WORKING poor families, not mentally ill, or drug addicts! They are getting kicked out of their apartments so that landlords can raise the rent. These families are living in their vehicles, in parks, and are riding buses all night just to have a place to sleep.

    This constant ignorance about the homeless is sad. AND this NIMBY attitude is shameful.

    • Well, your NIMBY remark is about as ignorant of a statement you could make, if you had read all of my posts (which you undoubtedly have). Please read them all again, and acknowledge that I dont live in San Jose, nor did I ever say I didnt want anyone living near or around me who is homeless, destitute, or otherwise unable to survive on their own. My solution is recommended to HELP, not subsidize.

      Before you accuse someone of ignorance, you should perhaps reflect on your own stupendous inability to rationalize a permanent and suitable solution to the problem, without subsidizing support for a never ending cycle of poverty. My statement was to help, not harm, people who cannot survive in the most expensive City in the United States. Yours is to throw money at a problem, with no hope of sustainable or lasting results. You seem willing to constantly raise taxes, engage in landlord litigation, and supply endless streams of political red tape with no guarantee that these working families will EVER get out of the cycle of living from hand to mouth. My solution encourages personal growth, the ability to financially breathe, and possibly save for the future.

    • > They are getting kicked out of their apartments so that landlords can raise the rent.

      If society is not going to distribute scarce resources like housing to those who offer the most money, then why have money?

      Society will just revert to primitive tribalism where the tribal shaman (i.e. “politician”) will decide who gets to live in what house.

      And, by the way, why would anyone build a house if the shaman is going to reserve it for his favorite concubine.

      Re-read “Lord of the Flies” and ask yourself if primitive tribalism is really the society you want.

      • Dear SJO,
        My chief has taken revenge as did not vote for him and the medicine man at the last tribal council.
        I have been thrown out of my tent for a new working family and have to live under my horse and only have the horse’s blanket for comfort.

        I don’t want to go hunting with the boys in the tribe as I think it is wrong to kill animals, and the men don’t want me around as my husband left me for another woman after I told him I would not cook meat for him or sleep with him
        as he was exploiting me.

        The other women won’t let me move in saying their husbands think I am a bad influence on them.
        If I ride my horse to the white man’s town do you think they will take pity on me give me a home where the buffalo roam and I can whine and cry till they pay? I hear they are very kind.

        Little crying woman

    • IMHO VASH, Abode, and other homeless non-profits working with landlords is a better avenue than these types of facilities. They are spread across San Jose so one one neighborhood is adversely affected and can capture outside sources of funding. I think some consideration around churches taking on some of the load by giving homeless accommodation and potentially some income to work around the grounds would take some of the burden off. Convincing some of the larger corporations to fund converting hotels into transitional housing and funding their maintenance has worked in other areas. Apple, Cisco, others have a significant amount of employees living in San Jose, these companies have contributed to the displacement and their employee’s neighborhoods are better served if there is a reduction homelessness. The city can contribute by encouraging and enabling such initiatives, while building, owning, and maintaining small SRO facilities around the city.

      Fair or not, wrong or right, putting a 164-bed homeless shelter in someone’s neighborhood and not in others is going to get resistance from NIMBYs. It just will.

      • > Fair or not, wrong or right, putting a 164-bed homeless shelter in someone’s neighborhood and not in others is going to get resistance from NIMBYs. It just will.

        SIgn me up for the resistance. I’ve got my torch and pitchfork, and I’m ready to rock and roll.

    • I took your prompt, and read the link you sent Kathleen. You got as much opposition there as you did here. Of course Johnny Khamis supports the “homeless housing project”, it keeps them away from his constituents.

      I believe one person who answered you about the homeless problem said that you were terribly misinformed. I think that might be the case. Having been exposed to the lifestyle that is considered “homeless”, the vast majority of chronic homeless people are that way by choice. The destitute working poor are much smaller in number than you present. While I would never want to see anyone who works, has children and does their best to support themselves and their families out on the street, I refuse to throw money and resources at a problem without knowing WHO is receiving the benefit.

      Here is a solution for you, that you might want to consider:

      1) Give an entire 365 days (1 year) to prepare homeless, AFDC, Welfare recipients and HUD recipients for the
      proposed plan.
      2) Advertise that the DMV, Post Office, etc (any local, state or federal office) will be implementing this plan.
      3) Direct all persons receiving or wishing to receive the above benefits must be photographed, fingerprinted and
      verified as having a Social Security number, residency documents, etc.
      4) Inform them that if they do not participate in this program, benefits will be IMMEDIATELY cut off on the 1 year
      anniversary date.
      5) Advertise that if they DO participate in the program, they will get a 12% INCREASE in their payments.
      6) Implement the program, monitored by the same agencies, consolidated into one entity (reduce the need for more
      government jobs).
      7) Issue a numbered, coded picture ID to prevent any further fraud, and prevent the embarrassment of giving food
      stamps.

      This would effectively reduce fraud, make sure that the people who need and deserve the benefits will get them, reduce or eliminate the number of multiple checks to the same people, increase the amount received by the needy, verify residency, issue social security cards to those who do not have them, verify Visa violators, reduce the amount of government employees, save tax money, and bring the homeless vs. taxpayer back to equilibrium.

      But of course, the argument will be “why do they need to go through all of that for a card”? Been to the DMV lately?

      • > Here is a solution for you, that you might want to consider:

        AND, one more thing: as a condition of receiving public benefits, the recipients are formally declared to be “wards of the state”, and CANNOT vote in any election.

        We can’t have a class of voters with an incentive to use the force of government to take money from the people for the benefit of their class.

        • I dont know if I would go that far, voting is a right…not a privilege. I think people who can and do earn enough to support themselves outnumber those who cannot. My ideas are not radical in the least, and do not take away entitlements, rights, or the ability to receive benefits.
          I do not consider homeless or persons who cannot support themselves second class citizens, nor do i believe in punishment for their condition. But I DO believe in accountability of those benefits, and reducing the fraud associated with them.

      • I’m not terribly misinformed. I’m out working with the homeless. Lots of armchair quarter backs with opinions, and nothing else. I could care less about what people think about things they know nothing about. I’ll be on a KBAY Radio interview with Council Member Rocha and Sandy Perry, tomorrow, Sunday, 6-19, at 6:00am, discussing this very topic. Listen and learn.

    • I think we’ve seen this movie before.

      It is entirely predictable that people trying to minimize their housing expenses will double up, then triple up, than whatever.

      Within six months of the ribbon cutting on the first “tiny home to solve the homeless problem”, there will be a news story with associated social justice whining about the horrific unfairness of “families and children” forced to live like sardines in tiny dog houses or cracker boxes.

      Obama’s teleprompter will call a press conference and declare that forcing people to live like caged chickens in factory farms “is not who we are.”

        • Kathleen,
          It’s a metaphor. “My gun”, is my computer, words are my bullets.

          “Bumming me out”, I’m tired of your whining about a problem that only gets worse the more you try to fix it.
          “Terrible here”, I agree California’s only solution to any problem is to throw more of our money at it, that sucks!

          “Detroit” once one of the most prosperous cities in the world is now in ruins, because a bunch of do gooder socialist types tried to fix a bunch of problems that only get worse the more they try to fix them, with other people’s money.

          “Moving on” as it is a waste of time telling you it is not the job of government to feed, clothe and house you unless you need to be institutionalised or are working for the government as one of its underpaid soldiers.

          The smart ones are moving on while they can, they don’t have to listen to me, they are voting with their feet,
          Something the gods in government need to listen to.

          • Empty Gun- “I’m tired of your whining about a problem that only gets worse the more you try to fix it.” I don’t think having a discussion is “whining” but you’re entitled to your opinion. I am busy doing something about it while you arm chair quarterbacks are busy pointing fingers at everyone else. Go out and get involved. It will help you from feeling “bummed out.”

            “Moving on” as it is a waste of time telling you it is not the job of government to feed, clothe and house you unless you need to be institutionalised or are working for the government as one of its underpaid soldiers.

            I don’t know where you get the idea that people should be discarded like trash because they don’t meet with your standard of acceptable. There are over 700 Vets that are homeless. Go talk to landlords and get them to rent to these Vets. Do something other than criticize!

            Yes, it is depressing to work with a problem like this because there are no easy answers. People are leaving, and so are businesses. Silicon Valley will learn its lessons the way other cities have. That’s the way life works. You live and learn.

          • Kathleen,
            The US has spent 27 TRILLION dollars on the war on poverty since 1963, and we have more people in poverty now than we had when we started.
            All the handouts in the world will not end this cycle, it makes it worse because they will take the hand out every time and not help themselves work to improve anything.

            Many are mentally disabled and refuse help or treatment and should be institutionalized. You can thank the ACLU for that condition, discarded like trash as you say.

            Some are vets that should be helped by the VA that’s an institution run badly by the government, it is not the job of landlords to go broke supply housing to people who can not afford to live here.

            Many are lazy bums that live the life style.

            Our National Parks had a problem with people feeding the bears and getting themselves mauled, then having to shoot the bears. When the parks told people to stop feeding the bears or they would get a $5000 fine for feeding the bears,
            the bears went back to being bears living in the woods and people stopped getting mauled.
            Be kind to the bears, don’t feed them and ranger Rick won’t have to shoot Yogi and Booboo.

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