SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — San Jose councilmember Raul Peralez has been pushed out of his rental home, and into a smaller, more expensive rental property amidst the Bay Area housing crisis.
Peralez had lived in a three-bedroom single family home on the 1200 block of Santa Paula Avenue for nine years, where his monthly rent started out roughly $2,000 but was gradually increased to $2,400.READ MORE: Napa Valley Grape Growers Say Dry Year Survivable But Fear Prolonged Drought
However, the owner has decided to retire and sell the property. The owner offered it to Peralez first, but the councilmember says his $98,000 salary along with his wife’s income from a non-profit means the house is out of reach.
Earlier this year he was given a 90-day notice to vacate the three-bedroom, single-family home in the Rosemary Garden neighborhood of San Jose. The owner has declined to speak to KPIX 5.
According to Intero realtor Jordan Mott, the house will be listed for at least $900,000. “That’s not something that my wife and I can afford,” Peralez said.
Peralez, who has been elected to his second term in District 3, is required to live within his district in downtown San Jose. Peralez has downsized into a two- bedroom townhome, with a shared backyard, despite having a newborn infant son and two dogs. The rent is now $3,000 per month.
“As we were looking for places here in the district, in downtown, we found barely a couple dozen, and as soon as we put in that we had dogs, that went down to literally three places,” said Peralez, “it was really a stretch for our budget, personally, of what we could afford.”READ MORE: Red Flag Warning Now in Effect for North and East Bay Hills Through Weekend
Peralez says he will use the experience to help sway other councilmembers on housing and renter protection votes.
“I’ve been fighting for this all along. Now I’ll get to bring this personal perspective to help tell that story to my colleagues to say ‘This is real. And this is what our community is going through as well,” said Peralez.
Peralez and the rest of the City Council faced enormous backlash in November after unanimously voting to approve a $110 million land sale to Google. Community advocates argued that housing prices around the area would skyrocket and amplify the consequences of gentrification, but Peralez said Monday that his vote is not at odds with his commitment to affordable housing.
“Approving new development and job growth, like Google, doesn’t conflict with my priorities, and it actually is imperative that we increase job opportunities in our bedroom community, jobs-poor city,” he added.
During a contentious vote to align mayoral elections with presidential elections earlier this month, Peralez was one of five all-Latino council members who faced opposition from Mayor Sam Liccardo and the remaining members who were against the change. He said during the discussion that his family had never been able to attain the financial security of owning a home, and neither had he.
“We would absolutely love to own a home, but we are acutely aware of how fortunate we still are in being able to afford the lovely townhome we’re in now,” he said in a statement. “In our current situation, considering our income and my requirement to live in District 3 (downtown area), we could not afford to purchase a home.”MORE NEWS: Fatal Rollover Crash Closes Portion of Highway 101 in San Jose Friday Night
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