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San Jose city council votes to slow pace of rent increases

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Tenants in San Jose are getting some relief after a city council vote to slow the pace of rent increases. It came after a contentious nine-hour meeting. (KGO-TV)

Tenants in San Jose are getting some relief after a city council vote to slow the pace of rent increases. It came after a contentious nine-hour meeting.

Neither side seems entirely happy with the council's actions with almost everyone saying more affordable housing is needed in San Jose.



Both sides of the rent control debate were passionate during the meeting that didn't end until after 2 a.m. Wednesday.

"I wanna save to buy a house. It's like I'm working just to pay my rent, it's kind of ridiculous," one renter said.

"These rent control laws that you are bringing to me is like the housing department buying the biggest chainsaw and chopping down all of my trees I've worked so hard to prune and take care of," landlord Gustavo Gonzalez said.

The apartment rent ordinance in place since 1979 is no more. Gone is the 8 percent annual cap.

In its place, the city council approved several changes, including lowering the annual rent increase cap to 5 percent.

Landlords can bank unused increase and pass them along the next year but only up to 8 percent.

The council is also having city staff develop a rental registry to help with monitoring and enforcement of the ordinance and an anti-retaliation provision for tenants.

The Housing Director of Destination Home, Jennifer Loving, sent a statement saying, "It was exciting to see the community rallying around preserving and increasing affordable housing."

But a spokesperson from the California Apartment Association, Joshua Howard, said the council's actions are not a solution to the housing challenges.

He said the council should consider councilmember Man Nguyen's proposal for a $1 billion affordable housing bond.

Mayor Sam Liccardo says that's a possibility. "We're now working with the county to discuss what a county-wide housing bond might do, recognizing we can get a lot more resources that way. And I'm hopeful that we can find a formulation that our voters will support that will get more affordable housing out there and built."

In May, the council will take up a few more issues related to the rent control ordinance, including potential relocation fees and a possible rent freeze until the ordinance is in place later this year.

Related Topics:
realestaterental propertyrentersrentsvotinghousinghousing marketSan Jose
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