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Major markets nationwide are competing to land Amazon's next big job base, offering incentives to get the benefits to the local economy. However, San Jose is split on letting Google disrupt the local economy, afraid that it may mean the end of social balance.

Daniel Gonzalez is a lifelong resident of San Jose, California. He knows the city well, having moved around so much as a kid as his parents searched for work and somewhere to live.

“I like to joke that I’ve lived in every neighborhood, but it’s a bit of a stretch,” says the 33-year-old school IT technician.

The biggest change Gonzalez has witnessed over the years, he says, is the exodus of residents who’ve been forced to move away from the booming tech city as rising housing costs have become too much to bear. This includes his parents, who emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in the 1970s, but who moved out of San Jose in the early 2000s.

Over the past year, median house prices in San Jose have risen almost 25 percent to more than $1.1 million, according to real estate site Zillow. Rentals have likewise skyrocketed, with tenants paying an average of just under $3,500 a month — almost 50 percent more than in 2011.

With plans for a new Google campus in San Jose currently under discussion, residents like Gonzalez are worried that things could get a lot worse, particularly for the city’s communities of color. San Jose has large Hispanic and Asian populations, and communities of color are often disproportionately priced out of the housing market.

At the heart of the city’s housing crisis lies a failure to build enough affordable homes. Last year, the city issued building permits for just 475 affordable housing units — a fifth of its 2017 target. In contrast, it issued 2,622 permits for market-rate units, more than 160 percent of its target. The same story is playing out across California, which has a shortfall of more than one million rental homes affordable to extremely- and very low-income households (categories defined in comparison to local median area wages).

Combine this lack of affordable housing with an inundation of tech workers on tech worker salaries and it’s no surprise that lower-wage workers like Gonzalez and his parents are hardest hit.

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