MILPITAS (KPIX 5) — Hundreds of Milpitas residents have been told to prepare to pack up and move out of their apartments to clear the way for a new development by building owners.
David Vuong lives in his 1,000 square foot apartment with his wife, his 7-month-old baby girl and his parents and brother.
He got laid off from his job as an assembly worker three months ago, so an eviction notice was the last thing he needed.
Back in March, the owners of the Sunnyhills Apartments made the decision to evict all 171 families currently living there.
The evictions would clear the way for the owner’s plan to tear down the apartments and build more than 200 multi-level townhomes at market rate.
“These folks need our help,” said Milpitas housing advocate Allysson McDonald. “They don’t deserve to be turned out on the street just because they’re not making a six-figure income.”
Affordable housing advocates say they are investigating to make sure the owners — Santa Clara-based JMK Investments — haven’t violated any federal housing laws.
“That’s what’s happening. This valley is prioritizing money over human rights,” said Sandy Perry with the Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County.
On Tuesday, the Milpitas City Council will consider sweeping changes to the city’s eviction laws and a moratorium on demolition of properties with affordable housing.
Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran told KPIX 5 he feels for both tenants and business owners.
“I promised last year I was going to put Milpitas families first,” said Tran. “And at the same time, I’m very mindful of businesses.”
Retiree Vinh Nguyen has lived in the complex for 20 years.
Nguyen started looking all over for a new place after getting the initial notification months ago.
He was told he’d have to get on a waiting list for years.
“I don’t know where I’ll live,” said Nguyen.