Ramon Navarro Johnson lost his rent-controlled apartment in 2015 when his landlord decided to charge market rate.
“I was abruptly displaced from my home, could not find other affordable housing options (and) ended up homeless for a year and a half,” he said.
Johnson now has stable housing, but said he still suffers the effects of his displacement, which took a hit on his health and has moved him farther from his support system. For the last few months, he’s been advocating that the San Jose City Council not weaken protections to its rent control law.
Earlier this year, Mayor Sam Liccardo and Vice Mayor Chappie Jones requested that city officials study whether the current Ellis Act law was impeding development. The pair claimed they had heard “anecdotal evidence” that it was making it harder for developers to build housing.
Under the current law, which was updated last year, developers who demolish or remodel an existing rent-controlled apartment must put at least half of the new units or the number of old apartments taken off the market – whichever number is greater – back under rent control.