Priced Out of the Valley: Sequester Cuts Devastate Silicon Valley's Most Vulnerable

The sequester -- a federal cutting of the budget due to DC gridlock -- is hitting Silicon Valley's elderly, disabled, and low-income families especially hard. In one of the costliest places to live in the nation, Section 8 tenants are seeing rents skyrocket as a result of the sequester, and many now face homelessness. This video was produced in collaboration with the Community Homeless Alliance Ministries, a group that is organizing against the rent increases.

To see more on Silicon Valley's housing crisis, watch: Inside San Jose's Tent City (This video was also featured on New America Media, Huffington Post Live, and

Tenants and their allies will take action against devastating rent increases caused by the Federal government sequester at 12 noon on Thursday, August 29 at San Jose City Hall.

Some 17,000 tenants on the Federal Section 8 housing program in Santa Clara County recently received rent hikes of 10% or more due to draconian cuts caused by the government stalemate in Washington. Some families have received astonishing increases of $900 or more.  

57% of Section 8 voucher holders in Santa Clara County are seniors or disabled and 61% are on fixed incomes. There is simply no way they can afford rent increases of this magnitude. In many cases the result will be homelessness, dislocation, and destruction of families.

The government is further threatening to continue to do nothing, which will result in additional unbearable cuts next year.  

Local congressmembers have been invited to attend and receive the petitions of the tenants. Tenants are calling for immediate reversal of the sequester and allocation of adequate affordable housing funds to meet the needs of the American people. According to our constitution, the role of government is to promote the general welfare of the people, not the private benefit of corporations.

Silicon Valley is the richest area in the richest country in the world, and we are richer now than ever before in our history. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from taking care of our most vulnerable people. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from putting the needs of our residents before tax breaks for corporations. There is nothing, except a tragic moral blindness, that prevents us from paying attention to the human suffering going on right here in our own community. By: Sandy Perry






About Fernando Perez

Fernando J. Perez is a video journalist and a digital media instructor at Silicon Valley De-Bug.  

This article is part of the categories: Economy  / Video 
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Please join us on Thursday at city hall at 12:00 noon to protest

It is unconscionable that Congress is making it so difficult for the low income elderly, the disabled to remain in their homes, to afford basic needs i.e. foods, bus passes, transportation to medical appointments. What is becoming of us as a country that we are so heartless? We are fast losing our bragging rights to being the best country in the world!

This is totally ridiculous to see how the United States is treating their own. We have worked all of our lives and cannot afford to live out our retirement age. The children is going to be affected. Instead of that new men's bar downtown San Jose, it should have been something for the seniors and children, but no there is no MONEY involved. Are we all concerned about money instead of human beings? I have lived in San Jose for 41 years and NEVER have seen it this bad. Our Mayor and the councilmen should be ashamed of themselves to let our city get to this point. Instead of laying off policemen and firemen, they should be hiring more. Look at the crime that have sprouted in several years. I remember when they said we were number 1 place to live and look at us now. One supervisor has nerve to complain about the amount of sugar in drinks. What is more important sugar in drinks or food and shelter for the children and elderly? You don't have to drink the sugar drinks - it should be left up to the individual. Too much of anything is bad for you.

It just makes it even harder when for profit landlords are not willing to rent to Sec.8 participants because of cuts, pushing people into drug infested, crime ridden communities. Our kids are at risk!

This rent hike is going to really hurt my family. My boyfriend is on my voucher, and he does work. On September 1st, our rent will be 1873.00. We're barely surviving now. When the rent's increased, my boyfriend will barely have 50.00 to 100.00 pay to get back and forth to work for 2 weeks until he gets paid again. He's stressing and I'm stressing, and our stressing is rubbing off on the kids. Something needs to be done because with another rent increase, we may end up homeless. If we end up homeless, I don't know how my kids would get back and forth to school if we have no place to live. The law says that children must attend school, if I we don't have a place to lay our heads, worrying about how they'll get to school would be the furthest thing from my mind.

It's really upsetting for my family and many other families alike .if we were giving a fair amount of time to adjust to these changes it would of been a lot easier .

As a long time resident of Silicon Valley most of my life, this problem persists from a time when housing was a benign issue of the 80s when stagflation took a quantum leap, and poverty became cronic in San Jose and its surrounding communities.

Neglect, and ignorance lie at the bottom of this crisis, now spread nationwide. And I have written the White House and the Council of Economic Advisors just this week in an effort to open a dialogue about my own research and scholarship in the field which strongly suggest support for our necessities in the way of Education, Housing, - as well as a positve conjunctive effort to explore our Trade Advantages is the bedrock of any long term growth if we are to attain a sustainable economy - not based on Oil or military might.

I would welcome anyone to examine my life time of Scholarship which supports this contention. Major factors that impinge upon our complete and clear understanding of the National Economy have been long ignored within the Keynesian matrix, and there recognition, as with the present crisis is only a sympotom of a much wider understanding of the complete problem with our efforts to manage our economic household.

I am about to go homeless again simply because of mere greed of these landlords. How do you justify putting a dollar value on a peice of dirt (dirt that a home dwelling sits on) I am ashamed to say i am an american. God took down Egypt, Rome, due to erogance, greed and lack of care for their own people. So if america keeps going down the same road de-sha-vue

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