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San Jose residents concerned over skyrocketing rents

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Community groups came out to San Jose city hall Wednesday afternoon to share their concerns about the rising cost of rent. (KGO-TV)

Community groups came out to San Jose city hall Wednesday afternoon to share their concerns about the rising cost of rent.

This comes as council members are set to make changes to the city's apartment rent ordinance.

That ordinance has pretty much stayed the same since 1979. The city council will take it up next week, and many community members are just hoping that their voices are heard.

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Some San Jose residents at city hall who don't want to be left behind said: "Not all landlords, but some, are mighty greedy, and that is displacing people, and what's what concerns me," San Jose resident Milt Krantz said.

As rents continue to rise, more people are struggling to make ends meet.

San Jose resident Rose Wallis took legal action last year after she says her landlord tried to evict her.

A judge ruled she can stay put for now, but what may have initially been a small victory has now led to a feeling of constant angst and anxiety. "Every day I'm worried, are they going to leave me another slip, are they going to evict me again this year, what are they going to do next? I'm terrified," Wallis said.

Council members are currently reviewing the city's apartment rent ordinance, which currently caps annual increases at 8 percent for buildings built before 1979.

The city's housing department recommends tying any maximum increase to the consumer price index.

The mayor favors a fixed rate increase, but is also looking ahead to other solutions. "What we really need to do is create more affordable housing in San Jose and throughout the region, and that's where my energy is mostly focused," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

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Nearly three-dozen local groups were represented at Wednesday's demonstration.

Advocates are also pushing for an ordinance prohibiting retaliation against tenants, with meaningful penalties for landlords who violate it. "I have done my best to live by the rules and regulations of this apartment complex, so i'm just hoping that everything will work out for all of us," Wallis said.

The city council is expected to vote on any changes to the ordinance next Tuesday, which would then be applied to apartment buildings built before 1995.
Related Topics:
realestaterental propertyrentersconsumer concernsinvestinghomebusinessworking familiesjobseconomybay areasanta clara countysilicon valleyaffordable housingSan JoseCalifornia
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