Shirley Gibson isn’t quite sure how to feel about these numbers.
As directing attorney of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County — which offers legal services to low-income tenants caught between the preposterously priced southern suburbs of San Francisco and the preposterously priced suburbs of Silicon Valley — she’s seen firsthand how California’s housing affordability crisis has overwhelmed her clientele.
Rents in San Mateo County have increased nearly 55% since the start of the decade. A two-bedroom in Redwood City, the county seat, now goes for $3,500, according to data from Apartment List. Strong demand, fueled by the influx of high-income tech workers, means vacancy rates are low.
“I don’t know what a normal housing market is anymore,” said Gibson. “There’s a tush for every seat right now. You can rent any unit you want within a week.”
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