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Low-income families face eviction as building 'rebrands' for Facebook workers


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The recent eviction notice that Laura Hernandez and her husband received at their one-bedroom apartment in Silicon Valley did not say why they were being kicked out.


But executives at Trion Properties, a private equity firm that recently purchased their building, have made it unusually clear that they want a different kind of tenant – high-paid technology workers at the nearby headquarters of Facebook, which is planning a large campus expansion.


In Hernandez’s building in Redwood City, many residents threatened with eviction are low-income Latino families.


Hernandez takes care of her three-month-old daughter while her husband Adan Estevez works at a nearby recycling center. They pay their $1,600 rent on time. With less than two weeks before she has to move out, Hernandez, 26, has become worried that her anxiety over the possibility of being homeless is hurting her baby.


“Because I breastfeed my daughter, I feel like I’m passing that stress and depression on to her,” she said during an interview in Spanish. “We’re not asking for a place to live for free. We just need a little more time.”


Housing advocates say that throughout Silicon Valley, where income inequality is on the rise, real estate investors are increasingly purchasing centrally located apartments, remodeling them, removing low-income tenants en masse, and replacing them with wealthy tech workers. In many cases, the “house flipping” is entirely legal and occurs with little objection from local officials.



Mark Zuckerberg's renters are more equal than others...

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