In yet another sign of the tech industry’s growing impact on local housing markets in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, local housing advocates are lamenting the region’s largest-ever mass eviction of rent-controlled tenants. The evictions are the latest example of rising income inequality in a region home to many of the world’s wealthiest technology companies.
Making sense of the story
- Roughly 670 tenants are being displaced from their homes at the Reserve Apartments, which are being demolished to make way for a development of market-rate housing. The apartments are located five miles away from Apple’s headquarters, 14 miles away from Google, and 20 miles away from Facebook.
- Residents must move out by April of next year so that developers could move forward with construction of new housing that many of them will not be able to afford.
- For the longtime residents already struggling to make ends meet, it’s clear that they will face an uphill battle in their search for comparable housing in the surrounding area – and that they will be entirely priced out of the new building replacing their home.
- The Reserve evictions are part of a much broader trend of northern California communities becoming unaffordable to middle-class people in the face of rapid gentrification and a booming tech economy.
- Between 2000 and 2013, the number of low-income households in the Bay Area increased by 10 percent, but the region lost 50 percent of units defined affordable for this population, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
- Projects like the one replacing the Reserve apartments are designed to help address the housing shortage by building denser apartment buildings in an area where demand is so high.
- The city, like many municipalities in the region, encourages this kind of high-density development targeting higher incomes as part of its long-term plans to accommodate a swelling population and a rise in employment.