Monday, June 26, 2017

Priced out.

The stories came in the space of a week. First, it was the nurse who took my blood pressure. Then, it was the window washer guy from the temp agency. Finally, it was a friend from my bartending days.

The nurse had been living in her Daly City rental home for eight years. She'd been told by her landlord that his wife was newly expecting and they needed a larger space, her rental. He and his family were going to move in & she needed to relocate. She'd asked if she could move after her children finished out the school year in a few months' time. He responded with a 'yes' and a rental increase of $300. monthly for the duration. She decided to move as soon as she could. She now lives in a distant city, turning her daily commute to San Francisco into an hour drive.

The window washer lives with his sister and her family in San Jose. They recently received a $700. monthly rental increase, so they decided to move. I didn't think such a rent hike was even lawful. Maybe it isn't, but these folk don't have it in them to fight. They've found a smaller, slightly cheaper place further out of town.

The friend had been living in her place for 15 years. When she moved to this area of Oakland, it was still considered slightly dangerous. I would have characterized her 'hood as dilapidated, largely residential & drab. You'd go over for a visit, park your car out front of her building and hope it wouldn't be broken into. Start-ups moved into her area about 7 years ago. Her neighborhood gentrified in fairly short order. Rents increased. Warehouse spaces became luxury condo complexes. A few years back, a restaurant serving fancy mac-n-cheese opened up across the street. As she put it me, 'a millennial couple' (or was it 'fucking millennials'?) bought her 4-unit building & told her she had one month to move. They'd be moving into her flat. She burst out crying when they levied the boom. The girl millennial had the decency to look somewhat pained at her tears.

Mind you, her flat is a tiny junior one-bedroom & fairly run-down. Given the hands-off approach of the last landlord, I expect that all the units are pretty shabby. Why they chose hers is a wonder. She's not even the tenant who's lived there the longest. In any case, she's no legal recourse. She found an apartment some eighty miles away in Sacramento. She commutes to work back in Oakland.


  1. Crazy. Investors are buying the houses in my area and renting them out for $1600. +. It ruins the 'neighborhood' in my opinion. That is why I moved out of mid-town since every other house is a rental.

  2. Sigh. And hiss and spit.
    Investors are pricing people out of the housing market over here too. And charging exorbitant rents.

  3. Wow. It's a global phenomenon, to be sure. Dismal & depressing.

  4. The pendulum swings. At some point, people won't think it's worth it, will find jobs where they're living, and these people who raised rents will find their units empty. Hopefully sooner rather than later.


A piece of your mind here: