torbakhopper / (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Iris Milano is one of 670 tenants being evicted en masse from their apartment complex in San Jose, Calif., to make room for tenants who can afford to pay more for housing.

Milano was born in Venezuela and has lived in the area for 13 years. Local housing advocates call the move the largest ever mass eviction of rent-controlled tenants.

The Guardian reports:

The 216-unit complex called the Reserve Apartments that is being demolished to make way for a development of market-rate housing – located five miles away from Apple’s headquarters, 14 miles away from Google and 20 miles away from Facebook – is the latest example of rising income inequality in a region home to many of the world’s wealthiest technology companies.

Residents of the Reserve recently learned they would all have to 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.

All of the modest apartments at Reserve are protected by rent control laws, which means the landlord is barred from increasing rents beyond 5% each year.

As a result, the complex is home to a diverse mix of working-class residents, low-income tenants as well as some newer, wealthier renters, including tech workers. 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.

“My family is all here,” said Kira Nelson, a 32-year-old stay-at-home mother, who said she is considering moving to Sacramento, 120 miles north, where she can afford the same level of housing.

“I don’t resent the millionaires … but all the locals are moving out,” she said.

Continue reading.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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