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The Google Rent Hike: $235 million a year

June 12, 2019

This morning, we released new research that reveals Google needs to help create more than 5,000 new affordable homes to ensure local families in our region aren’t hit with rent increases they simply cannot afford as a result of the tech giant’s new San Jose mega-campus.

Families in San Jose should be able to feel secure in their homes and communities — but many would not be able to find the extra money to afford the rent hikes caused by Google’s new  campus.

Google's San Jose mega-campus will cost renters $235 million a year in higher rents each year by 2030

For our new report, we worked with research firm Beacon Economics to model the impact that the new mega-campus, and the influx of the expected 20,000 new tech employees and 8,000 new service workers, would have on housing costs in our region — and the findings are troubling.

In short, unless more than 5,000 new affordable homes — and more 12,000 market-rate homes — are built, the cost of bringing Google to San Jose will be enormous. It’s a price that will be paid by local residents, particularly our community’s poorest families.

To avoid hitting renters with a $235 million rent hike, Google needs to help create 5,000 affordable homes and 12,450 market-rate units.

Even more troubling, the research found that these rent increases would be even more harmful to communities of color. By the time Google builds its campus, renters will see their rent take up even more of their paycheck with Latinx, Asian and African-American families paying a far higher share of their income than white residents.

By the time Google's campus is built, renters of color will face the highest rent burdens.

This is why it’s so important that Google creates enough homes, at all levels of affordability, to prevent this. All residents, whether black, white or brown, deserve to feel secure in their communities and plan a future within them.

The good news is, another future is possible. In this report, we spell out an agenda for how Google can take responsibility and partner with the City of San Jose and our communities to prevent further displacement by building more affordable housing, supporting tenants facing eviction and giving workers a voice on the job and the freedom to negotiate better working conditions.

Thanks to the input of over 1,700 residents across the city, we’ve laid out a plan to ensure Google lifts up the community rather than pulling it apart.

Google and the City of San Jose can set a new standard for tech development that avoids dramatic increases in rent, displacement, and homelessness, while creating new opportunities for local residents. We have the plan, now we just need Google to take action.