The residential real estate surrounding Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, is now so expensive that many locals have been forced to live in vans and RVs.
According to a report by Bloomberg News, the Mountain View Police Department now spends much of its time asking van dwellers to move their vehicles (and homes) out of the town that is home to Google’s headquarters. The push to remove the vans from Mountain View has been sparked by their impact of the cleanliness of the town. Some of the vans have begun to leak sewage out onto the street.
“You guys need to take care of it, like ASAP,” Sargeant Wahed Magee said to one couple living in an RV. “I’m not going to tow it today, but tomorrow if I come out here and it’s like this, it’s getting towed!”
“We have rising rents. We have gentrification. We have people being displaced,” a local activist who works to reduce homelessness in the area told Bloomberg. “All of that together is creating an untenable situation for thousands and thousands of families and individuals who are trying to live and work here.”
The median rent in Mountain View has almost doubled in the past decade. Now, the average rent in the town is $4,151 per month, triple the national average. The average home sells for $1.8 million, as opposed to less than half of that ten years ago.
“In my neighborhood there are a group of five or six duplexes and a couple that I know lived in one of them for 22 years. When Google moved in next door, their landlord raised the rent by $700 a month,” a local resident told Bloomberg. “Preventing parking and throwing more people out of our community is unconscionable. I do not want to live in a town where the only people who can afford to be here are very, very, rich techies or very, very, old retirees like myself.”
The local police department estimates that there are 300 RVs in Mountain View that are used as permanent residences.
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