San Jose city council considering new rent control options

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The San Jose City Council held a meeting Tuesday to decide on new rent control options that would lower increases by significant amounts, but some landlords aren't on board. (KGO-TV)

San Jose is facing a critical housing shortage as rents continue to climb. But right now, the city council is meeting to discuss exactly how much rents can be raised each year for rent controlled apartments

It's a heated debate and depending on who you ask you'll get a range of numbers for what the annual rent increase should be. In the meantime, the housing department has recommended to the council rents be increased at the same rate as inflation, which is lower than what the cap is now.

The Reserve Apartments is one of many complexes built before 1979 and fall under rent control laws in San Jose where the maximum annual rent increase is currently capped at 8 percent.

Just last month, Brandie Locke got a notice her rent would increase as usual at the same rate, but she's really fired up about this letter she received last week telling her she would be evicted at the end of the year to make way for a new housing development, one without rent control. "I understand they're doing this to build more housing however, that doesn't help the people who will be impacted now where are we going to go," she said.

Renters across the city are voicing their complaints as the city council takes up recommendations for a new apartment rent ordinance.

At the heart of the matter is how much rents should be increased every year in a town that's becoming more difficult to find an affordable place to live.

"A lot of tenants struggling to keep up with rents balance that with needs with landlords who made investments 100's thousand dollars and had business model now we are totally changing business model," San Jose City Councilman Chappie Jones said.

The city's housing department is recommending rents go up at the same rate as inflation, which is on average 3.4 percent.

But there are several numbers being thrown out for consideration as well.

Council members are also looking at provisions that would protect tenants from getting evicted if they complain about code violations. Along with providing more relief for tenants whose rent controlled units are set to be demolished.

The council is expected to vote on the new ordinance Tuesday evening.

Whatever is done at Tuesday's council meeting, many leaders believe the real solution is to build more housing.

Councilmember Chappie Jones said, "We need to build a lot more. The demand just keeps growing and growing. If we don't meet that demand, we're going to see rents continue go up whether you have really strict rent control or not."

Related Topics:
realestaterental propertyrentersrentsvotinghousinghousing marketSan Jose
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