SPECIAL REPORT – Silicon Valley’s Cost of Living Crisis



With rents so high people are renting out tents in backyards and living out of vehicles, we are focused on reporting the range of issues related to the cost of living in Silicon Valley. We’re looking at how the region is struggling with displacement of residents, development disputes and the ongoing tension between growth and preservation.



Community members and consultant Millette Litzinger, left, discuss plans for a redesigned Middlefield Road at a design workshop in North Fair Oaks, Calif. on Sept. 30, 2015. As they weighed wider sidewalks against extra parking, many residents were more concerned that a nicer street would spur gentrification. (Jeff Barrera/Peninsula Press)

North Fair Oaks road redesign sparks gentrification fears

By Jeff Barrera

A plan to redesign Middlefield Road in working-class North Fair Oaks has residents torn between wanting a safer, more inviting main thoroughfare, and concerned that upgrades will lead to gentrification.

In the face of a building boom, Redwood City residents are urging City Council to slow downtown development. Increased traffic and lack of enough parking have been locals’ two major complaints. (Ana Santos/Peninsula Press)

Redwood City residents pushing to slow construction amid building boom

By Ana Santos

Increased traffic, soaring construction and rising real estate costs have prompted more than 500 Redwood City residents to sign a petition asking for a moratorium on approval of new commercial buildings.

The Santa Clara City Council entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with The Core Companies to develop a six-acre plot of land, pictured here, on Sept. 29. The land is the last remaining vestige of the Bay Area Research and Extension Center (BAREC) site. (Shane Newell/Peninsula Press)

Santa Clara residents express mixed views on affordable housing project

By Shane Newell

A vacant six-acre plot of land near Midtown Village may be transformed into a destination for seniors searching for affordable housing and a space to grow their own food.

Mountain View Tenants Coalition Protests for rent moratorium

Mountain View Tenants Coalition demands rent moratorium

By An-Li Herring

A coalition of Mountain View residents is pushing the city council to freeze rents at a time when soaring housing costs are threatening to displace more tenants.

Members of the Mountain View Tenants Coalition rallied outside Mountain View City Hall on Nov. 22, 2015. The coalition continues to call for rent stabilization and just-cause eviction even though the city council rejected both policies at an Oct. 19 study session. (An-Li Herring/Peninsula Press)

Mountain View explores possible protections against crushing rents

By An-Li Herring

The Mountain View City Council is considering whether to expand rent subsidies for low-income households and whether to adopt a measure that would make it harder for landlords to increase rents.

Dozens of the Mountain View Tenants Coalition members demonstrated continued support for rent stabilization and just-cause eviction policies at the Mountain View City Council meeting on Dec. 1, 2015. The city council rejected both policies at an Oct. 19 study session. (An-Li Herring/Peninsula Press)

Mountain View boosts subsidies and protections for beleaguered renters

By An-Li Herring

The Mountain View City Council has voted to expand rent subsidies for low-income households and passed a measure that will make it harder for landlords to evict tenants.

Kim Hester, left, and her two dogs, Freckles and Fluffy, moved in with retiree Pat Boyd, right, in October 2015. Hester plans to remain in Boyd’s San Mateo home until she retires to Alabama in two or three years. (An-Li Herring/Peninsula Press)

Bay Area home sharing the new norm as housing costs soar

By An-Li Herring

A disparate group of Bay Area residents, some of whom would easily be able to afford their own apartments in other regions, have found roommates to share the cost of rent.


In search of cheaper housing, Silicon Valley workers face long commutes

By Jeff Barrera

As the Peninsula struggles to house a rapidly growing population, many people — especially the middle-class public servants and low-wage workers who keep the region running smoothly — have been moving away to more affordable places.

(Homepage image courtesy of Don McCullough via Flickr/Creative Commons.)

Student interns struggle to secure summer housing

By Alejandra Salazar

A combination of little to no pay and costly housing puts student interns across America into a dilemma: accept an inadequate housing option or decline a critical professional opportunity.


Mountain View residents turn to RVs in housing crisis

By Kaitlyn Landgraf

Faced with little relief from rising rents in the Bay Area, Mountain View residents are turning to RVs and trailers for housing.


Tenants in San Francisco’s Mission, Sunset neighborhoods get most eviction notices

By Saurabh Datar

Eviction notices in San Francisco have jumped 60 percent since 2011 — especially in the Mission, Sunset, South of Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods.


Mountain View residents push for historically elusive rent control

By Saurabh Datar and Kaitlyn Landgraf

Advocates hope this latest initiative will be successful, but they face well-organized and well-funded opposition.


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